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 TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE and now-President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks 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 HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border 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 BloombergYang: 'Defund the police is the wrong approach for New York City' New York mayoral candidates go viral for vastly underestimating housing costs Melinda Gates tapped divorce lawyers in 2019 after Epstein links to husband: report MORE to participate, which resulted in Bloomberg's onstage verbal takedown by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy 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.