The NFL Dominated TV Viewership In 2020

In general, American football outperformed the rest of the sports and political events on US television.

The NFL established itself as the highest-rated sports league in the United States during 2020 and its dominance even extended over nationally broadcast political events.

Despite the drop in television viewership this season, the NFL managed to have 33 of the 50 most watched events on television in 2020 according to a report from a sports business website


The Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV was watched by 99.9 million viewers. AP Photo

The most watched event on television was Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, which had 41.6 viewership points with an estimated 99.9 million viewers, followed by three political events, the first two presidential debates, which they had 40.2 and 35.3 audience points, respectively, and in fourth place is the vice-presidential debate with 57.9 million viewers (33.7 points).

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Between fifth place and No. 17, dominated by the NFL, only President Donald Trump’s report to the Senate stands in seventh place with 22.7 points and 37.2 million viewers.

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Clemson Tigers and LSU Tigers finished in 18th place with 25.6 million viewers and 14.3 audience points.

Outside of football, no other sport appeared in the top 50.

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The 92nd installment of the Academy Awards (Oscars) had 13.6 audience points (23.6 million) and the 62nd installment of the Grammy Awards had 10.6 points (18.7 million), occupying the 23rd and No. 49. respectively.

Compared to these numbers, Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints had 25.8 million viewers and 13.2 viewership points.

TOP 20 MOST VIEWED EVENTS OF 2020PositionEventAudience * Points1Super Bowl LIV (49ers-Chiefs) 99.941.62First Presidential Debate73.140.23Second Presidential Debate6335.34Vice-Presidential Debate57.933.75NFC Championship Game (Packers-49ers) 42.8226 Championship Game AFC (Titans-Chiefs) 41.123.17 Presidential Address to Congress 37.222.78 NFC Divisional Round (Seahawks-Packers) 37.2209 AFC Divisional Round (Titans-Chiefs) 35.420.310 NFC Wildcard Round (Seahawks-Eagles) 35.119. 211 AFC Wildcard Round (Titans-Patriots) 31,417,112 Thanksgiving Day (Washington-Cowboys) 30.31213 NFC Wildcard Round (Vikings-Seahawks) 29,917,414 AFC Divisional Round (Titans-Ravens) 29,41615 Divisional Round NFC (Vikings-49ers) 29,316,616 AFC Wild Card Round (Bills-Texans) 26,315,217 Week 1 (Buccaneers-Saints) 25,813,218 CFP National Championship Game (Clemson-LSU) 25,614,319 Democratic National Convention, Night 424.615.620 Week 11 (Packers-Colts) 23,912.7 * In millions Source: Sportico / Nielsen

The highest-rated regular season game was the Washington-Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving matchup with 30.3 million viewers and 12 points.

Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a larger audience than the Academy Awards and the Grammy. Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks’ victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 – the most recent game on the list – to secure the NFC West title had 11.7 points and 22.1 million viewers, enough to move into position. No. 35.

According to Sportico, of the 100 events with the highest audience in the year, 71 were NFL games.

College football placed two more games on the 100 list, with the Rose Bowl between the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers and the Citrus Bowl between the Michigan Wolverines and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

However, the 74 football games in total represent a drop from the 88 a year ago and the 89 that were placed in 2018.

As for the rest of the sports, the most watched event was Game 6 of the World Series that the Los Angeles Dodgers won, 3-1, against the Tampa Bay Rays to become Major League champions.



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