Football rules! The NFL claims 82 of the top 100 TV shows of 2022, with political programs occupying just four spots … while MLB, NBA and NHL don’t crack the list — and Argentina’s World Cup triumph checks in at No. 38
- The NFL claimed 82 of the top 100 US television shows for all of 2022, reports Sportico
- That’s more than the all-time record for 75 of the top 100 television shows last year
- The NFL was responsible for nearly 10% of all television viewership in the US in 2022
- The league generated a whopping 171.3 billion TV ad views
- Meanwhile, MLB, NBA and NHL all failed to crack Sportico’s top-100
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Not the World Cup, not the Oscars, not the Winter Olympics, not even the President of the United States could rival the NFL in 2022, as America’s most popular sports league was responsible for 82 of the nation’s top 100 calendar-year television shows.
That’s a modern record, loud Table of Sportico, and just the tip of the NFL’s iceberg-sized media influence. The Shield accounted for nearly 10 percent of all live television viewership in 2022, generating a staggering 171.3 billion television ad views.
That the league wields such dominance over the American media landscape is no surprise. Just a year earlier, the NFL had set a then-record 75 of the top 100 shows, and that trend had evolved over decades.
The Super Bowl drew nearly 100 million American viewers in February 2022
That the NFL outshines the competition is more of a surprise.
Neither the NBA, NHL, nor Major League Baseball has made the top 100 in a single event. The only other sports broadcasts on the list were the College Football Playoff, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the Kentucky Derby and the World Cup, which finished 38th (Argentina-France Final) and 58th.
Other contenders included Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1 as war unfolded in Ukraine and the Thanksgiving Day parade.
Another unscripted live show, the Academy Awards, drew 16.62 million viewers at number 77 on the list, improving on a historically poor performance in 2021. Of course, the 2022 show was carried by Will Smith, the host Chris Rock hit in the middle of the show.
The Winter Olympics were conspicuously absent from the top 100, save for No. 36: A 10 p.m. time slot carried by its opener, the Super Bowl.
TOP 10 TELEVISION OF 2022
- Super Bowl LVI, Rams Bengals (NBC): 99.2 million
- NFC Championship Game, 49ers-Rams (Fox): 50.2 million
- AFC Championship Game, Bengals Chiefs (CBS): 47.9 million
- AFC Divisional Playoff, Bills-Chiefs (CBS): 42.7 million
- Late Thanksgiving Day Game, Giant Cowboys (Fox): 42.1 million
- NFC Wild Card Playoff 49ers Cowboys (CBS/Nickelodeon): 41.5 million
- State of the Union address (multiple networks): 38.2 million
- NFC Divisional Playoff, Rams-Bucs (NBC): 38.1 million
- NFC Divisional Playoff 49ers-Packers (Fox): 36.9 million
- Early Thanksgiving Day Game, Bills-Lions (CBS): 31.8 million
Joe Biden addresses the country as the war in Ukraine begins. The State of the Union show ranked seventh among the top 100 television shows of 2022
Jordan Davis #99 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with the National Championship Trophy after the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 during the 2022 CFP National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 10 – No. 34 on the Sportico- list
Lionel Messi of Argentina, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, are seen during the trophy presentation after the World Cup final between Argentina and France at the Lusail stadium December 18 – No. 38 next The list
Dajuan Harris Jr. #3, Jalen Wilson #10 and Ochai Agbaji #30 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrate after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship at Caesars Superdome on the 4th 67th at the list
Speaking of the Super Bowl, Los Angeles’ Bengals-Rams Tilt unsurprisingly took first place overall with 99.2 million viewers – up from 91 million in 2021.
Most notably, the NFL has so far seemed immune to cable cutting and other trends negatively affecting the industry. According to Sportico, pay-TV bundles are down 10 percent, and the top scripted television show, CBS’ FBI, attracts an average live audience of just 7.21 million.
For comparison, the NFL national Sunday afternoon window, shared by Fox and CBS, averages 25.8 million live viewers. Meanwhile, NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets 19 million live views per show.
So while the overall television viewership pie is shrinking, the NFL’s share continues to grow.
Another unscripted live show, the Academy Awards, drew 16.62 million viewers at number 77 on the list, improving on a poor performance in 2021. Of course, the 2022 show was carried by Will Smith, host Chris Rock hit in the middle of the show