NFL, Colts Remain Among United States' Highest-Profile SEntities
INDIANAPOLIS – Television viewers in the United States love sports, and in recent years, they have loved the NFL in particular.
That was true yet again in 2008.
And once again, the Colts were among the reasons.
The NFL, as often has been the case in recent years, made broadcast history in 2008, with Super Bowl XLII being the most-watched sports telecast of the year – and the most-watched Super Bowl ever – and NFL postseason games making up the top four most-watched sports telecasts of 2008.
NFL games made up 10 of 2008's 20 most-watched sports telecasts.
"The NFL yet again enjoyed huge, historic interest in 2008," Colts Owner and Chief Executive Officer Jim Irsay said. "As proven again this past year, the league consistently entertains and captures the imagination of fans around the nation and around the world.
According to recently released information, in 2008:
- 225 million Americans watched the NFL regular season.
- 148.3 million Americans viewed at least part of Super Bowl XLII, which made it the most-viewed television event in United States history. The Super Bowl also was the most-watched telecast in the United States last year, and at an average of 97.5 million viewers, was the most-watched Super Bowl ever.
- The NFL also consistently dominated program rankings, raking as the most-watched telecast in 15 of 17 regular-season weeks.
The success wasn't limited to network television. According to the information released, NFL games on ESPN made up 17 of the 20 most-watched cable sportscasts of the year, with an October game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles being the most-watched, highest-rated telecast in cable-television history.
The top four most-watched sports telecasts of 2008 were NFL postseason games, with the Super Bowl (97.5 million viewers) ranking first, the NFC Championship Game (53.9 million) ranking second, the AFC Championship Game (44.8 million) ranking third and a New York Giants-Cowboys Divisional Playoff game (40.1 million) ranking fourth.
Three nights of the Beijing Olympics ranked 5-7, with the Colts' Divisional Playoff game against the San Diego Chargers last January ranking eighth with 31.6 million viewers.
Ten of the Top 20 most-watched sports telecasts of 2008 were NFL games.
The Colts' Monday Night Football game at Tennessee in October was the ninth-highest rated cable telecast of 2008.
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