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The Most-watched US Sporting Events of All Time

The Super Bowl reigns supreme, not just among the most-watched sporting events but in all US television. Boardroom breaks down the games that drew the largest audiences.

In the modern media landscape, precious few annual events bring the United States together.

A presidential election, perhaps. The Oscars, maybe. But with streaming services and gaming dividing America’s attention, even massive global sporting events like the Olympics or the World Cup don’t attract the audiences they once did.

The lone exception? The Super Bowl. Of the 30 most-watched television broadcasts in US history, 23 are the NFL’s championship match. The only non-Super Bowl in the top 10 is the moon landing (heard of it?) in 1969.

Interestingly, these 10 games all took place in the last 13 years. Las Vegas’ first ever Super Bowl became the most watched sporting event of all time, the second year in a row that record was broken, both won by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Phoenix has hosted two of the top three, with two appearances each from Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in America’s most popular sporting spectacles.

So, without further ado, Boardroom presents the 10 most-watched US sporting events in history, per Nielsen Media Research ratings.

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Most-watched US Sporting Events Ever

Super Bowl 58, 2024

Viewers: 123.4 million
Network: CBS
Host City: Las Vegas
Score: Kansas City Chiefs 25, San Francisco 49ers 22, overtime
MVP: Patrick Mahomes
Halftime Performer: Usher

Super Bowl 57, 2023

Viewers: 115.1 million
Network: Fox
Host City: Phoenix
Score: Kansas City Chiefs 38, Philadelphia Eagles 35
MVP: Patrick Mahomes
Halftime Performer: Rihanna

Super Bowl 49, 2015

Viewers: 114.4 million
Network: NBC
Host City: Phoenix
Score: New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
MVP: Tom Brady
Halftime Performers: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott

Super Bowl 56, 2022

Viewers: 112.3 million
Network: NBC
Host City: Los Angeles
Score: Los Angeles Rams 23, Cincinnati Bengals 20
MVP: Cooper Kupp
Halftime Performers: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Anderson .Paak

Super Bowl 48, 2014

Viewers: 112.2 million
Network: Fox
Host City: New York
Score: Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8
MVP: Malcolm Smith
Halftime Performers: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Super Bowl 50, 2016

Viewers: 111.9 million
Network: CBS
Host City: San Francisco
Score: Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10
MVP: Von Miller
Halftime Performers: Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson

Super Bowl 46, 2012

Viewers: 111.3 million
Network: NBC
Host City: Indianapolis
Score: New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17
MVP: Eli Manning
Halftime Performers: Madonna, LMFAO, M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green

Super Bowl 51, 2017

Viewers: 111.3 million
Network: Fox
Host City: Houston
Score: New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28
MVP: Tom Brady
Halftime Performer: Lady Gaga

Super Bowl 45, 2011

Viewers: 111 million
Network: Fox
Host City: Dallas
Score: Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Halftime Performers: The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash

Super Bowl 47, 2013

Viewers: 108.7 million
Network: CBS
Host City: New Orleans
Score: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31
MVP: Joe Flacco
Halftime Performers: Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child

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