A new report by Ad Age running under the headline “Network TV Can’t Survive Without the NFL” says live sports accounted for 89 of the 100 most-watched television broadcasts of 2018, with the list dominated by NFL coverage.
“After two years of ratings declines, the NFL this season silenced many of the Chicken Littles by improving its overall deliveries by 5 percent, while providing further evidence that it remains the best investment for deep-pocketed advertisers,” Ad Age reports. “In a year marked by two GRP-hogging quadrennial events and a whole lot of Beltway intrigue, NFL games accounted for 34 of the top 50 most-watched broadcasts, and 61 of the top 100. The only thing that came anywhere near to matching the NFL’s hegemonic reach was the 2018 Winter Olympics; NBC’s coverage of the PyeongChang Games drew six of the year’s 50 largest TV audiences and 15 of the top 100.”
Topping the list, as it does every year, is the Super Bowl. A list accompanying the story shows the big game at No. 1 with 103.4 million viewers and a 43.1 household rating — well ahead of the No. 2 broadcast, the multi-network coverage of the State of the Union Address, coming in with 45.6 million viewers and a 26.9 rating.
The next six telecasts on the list are all NFL games, followed by the Royal Wedding at No. 9 and the College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia at No. 10.
Click on the link above to Ad Age to see the list of the Top 50 U.S. TV broadcasts of 2018, most of which are NFL games.