Flash Sale! to get a free eCookbook with our top 25 recipes.

American Football Attracts Different Levels of Attention

American football was born from rugby in the middle of the 19th century. Like most sports at that time, it began in the university world. The adaptation from rugby to what would become football followed a gradual path until November 6, 1869, when the first recognized game was played between Rutgers and Princeton. It would be another 90 years before the first NFL odds arrived.

That start at the university level is a fundamental root of all of football’s last peculiarities. Most of the U.S.’s winters were harsh in the 19th century, so outdoor sports only made sense in the spring and fall. That limited the options for football, creating a dilemma that needed a well-conceived solution to attract fans.

Week 13 Game preview: Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers - Windy City Gridiron

Finding A Spot For Football

Summer was the exclusive domain of baseball. Basketball took its place in the pavilions when you couldn’t even step outside, and there were no classes in the summer. With a well-established professional league and a national pastime, the game was unrivaled for sunny days, freshly cut grass, and balmy evenings. Therefore, there was only one option left for football – winter.

Over the years, professional sports emerged and took center stage. In 1920, the NFL was founded, and little by little, very little by little, it began to gain ground in the university competition and in baseball. It wouldn’t be until the 1970s that we could start discussing the possibility of being more important than both competitions.

The fact is that, from its birth, an exclusive dedication to the sport was considered not very honorable for American football professionals. The normal thing is that they played in autumn, and the rest of the year, they had another job.

With the economic and social growth of the league and the arrival of NFL lines came professionalization and stardom for some players and then an increase in games. The NFL regular season is 18 games and the NCAA season is 13. Both are recent extensions, with each season one week shorter until recently.

Finding A Spot On TV

Logically, it would take a lot of time before football appeared on TV. The first game was broadcast on September 30, 1939, and there’s been no looking back. 

The NFL earns 14 of the 20 most-viewed broadcasts each year, including one of the league’s traditional events, the Thanksgiving games. For example, the match between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team (now the Washington Commanders) in 2020 had an audience of 30.3 million viewers, 12% of the total viewership share. The Week 1 match between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that year brought together 13.2 million fans in front of the TV and lit up the Vegas NFL odds.

The NFL is the only sport that appears on the list of most-viewed broadcasts, except NCAA football. Some college football games command 25 million or more viewers. The extension of the NFL and college football seasons will bring even more fans in front of the games. 

The Best Month To Watch Football

The statistics on the number of people watching football change from week to week and season to season. Routinely, it comes down to which teams are playing each other. 

Repeatedly, however, the Super Bowl is among the most-watched games of every season. For example, the 2022 Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams recorded an audience rating 13% higher than in 2021, which featured the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

The figure is close to the historical maximum of the competition, established in 2015 with more than 114 million viewers. Viewership for last year’s final game recorded the lowest ratings since 2007, with just 96.4 million viewers. For its part, in 2019, the Super Bowl attracted 98.2 million viewers.

Interest in this year’s NFL finale returned for two reasons. The Bengals’ first appearance in a Super Bowl since 1988, and the finale returned to Los Angeles for the first time since 1993. That year, it was held at the Rose Bowl.

Deborah Williams
Snowboarder, foodie, ukulelist, vintage furniture lover and identity designer. Making at the intersection of minimalism and mathematics to create strong, lasting and remarkable design. I work with Fortune 500 companies and startups. Award-winning beer geek. Twitter fan. Social media scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Alcohol expert.