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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

2022 TV Viewership Confirms the U.S. Is Obsessed with Football

  • The NFL dominated yet again — and its biggest competitor was playoff college football.
  • But the year was also a big one for women’s college hoops.
Two official NFL footballs on sideline of field
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking news: the United States is obsessed with football.

No one can beat the NFL. In a Nielsen roundup of 2022 television viewership, the NFL scored 45 of the top 50 sporting events all year, according to SportsMediaWatch. 

The Super Bowl, of course, took the top ranking with almost 100 million viewers. Other NFL matchups made up spots 2-32. 

The first sporting event to break into the top 50 outside the shield was college football — the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama drew 22.56 million viewers for the total ESPN mega cast. Both CFP semifinals for the 2022-23 season earned spots as well.

The Beijing Winter Olympics and the World Cup Final were the only two other sports to land on the list. 

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Perhaps one of the biggest winners outside of football, however, was women’s college basketball, according to a list of the top-rated matchup for every sport.

The championship game between South Carolina and UConn drew 4.85 million viewers. It was an 18% jump from 2021 and a victory over several men’s sports, including the F1 Miami Grand Prix and the MLS Cup. 

The game was only about 300,000 viewers behind the most-watched Stanley Cup Final Game, even though the Stanley Cup had marquee placement on ABC.

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