The statement “NFL is king” is no exaggeration.
No other major American sporting league can claim the same audience reach they have.
The fantastic games during the 2021 playoffs only added to its margin from the NBA, MLB, and NHL.
That said, it’s no surprise that NBC was able to command $6.5 million per 30-second ad spot during Super Bowl LVI.
After all, the game attracted an average of 112.3 million viewers in both television and streaming.
But the Super Bowl and the playoffs in general is just the tip of the league’s success, as pointed out by NFL insider Warren Sharp.
top-100 most watched 2021 US TV broadcasts
the best pro sport in the US & it’s not even close pic.twitter.com/QByrU75hiB
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 7, 2022
The tweet above reads that of the top 100 most-watched television broadcasts in the United States last year, the NFL had 75 of them.
NBA, MLB, and NHL had none between them.
Sharp included a chart courtesy of Lev Akabas and based on the data shared by Sportico.
Ten of the most-watched broadcasts were from the Olympics while seven were college basketball games.
Two were political programs while an Oprah special and a 60 Minutes episode also cracked the list.
Basketball had two of the top 100, but they were for college basketball.
Global Expansion Is The Next Phase
As successful as the NFL has been in America, its popularity wanes outside the country and it’s where the NBA is the unparalleled king.
That said, the league is ramping up its efforts to bring the game to more audiences around the world via the NFL International Series.
Aside from the United Kingdom, Germany will also have an opportunity to host a regular-season game at Bayern Munich’s home stadium.
There’s also the International Home Marketing Area program wherein select NFL teams get to partner with local clubs to gain more awareness about the sport.