NFL, politics dominate 2020 ratings

NFL, politics dominate 2020 ratings
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The NFL remained on top of the television ratings game in 2020, while major moments in the election cycle also captured Americans' attention, according to an analysis of 2020 Nielsen TV ratings from Sportico.

A breakdown of the biggest 2020 TV events revealed that the NFL was responsible for more than 30 out of the year's 50 highest-rated broadcasts, while debates between the presidential and vice presidential nominees as well as the 2020 political conventions also took top slots.

Almost 100 million people watched the Super Bowl this year, while various playoff and championship games dominated nearly all of the top 20 highest-rated broadcasts.


At No. 2, however, was the explosive first debate between President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE and now-President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE, a heated affair that was highlighted by the president's frequent interruptions. The second presidential debate and Vice President Pence's debate with now-Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Howard University's marching band to escort Harris at inauguration MORE took the third and fourth spots, respectively.

One surprise inclusion in the top 50 was the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 campaign season. Held in February, the debate was the first to feature new thresholds for participation allowing former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden selects Gina Raimondo for Commerce chief: reports 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics NFL, politics dominate 2020 ratings MORE to participate, which resulted in Bloomberg's onstage verbal takedown by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden pick for Pentagon cruises through confirmation hearing Senate Democrats call on Biden to immediately invoke Defense Production Act Biden consumer bureau pick could take over agency on Inauguration Day MORE (D-Mass.). Videos of the moment quickly went viral and Warren was praised for her debate performance, while Bloomberg's campaign ended in the weeks following.

Other nonpolitical events to make it in to the top 50 this year included the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes and April's "One World: Together at Home" concert featuring virtual musical performances from various artists.