The eerie silence which followed mass cancellations of sporting events in 2020 was unprecedented. Throughout history, few of us could ever have imagined a cessation of sports across the board, yet here we are, in the midst of a pandemic to tell the tale. In spite of it all, football a.k.a. gridiron retains its ranking status as the #1 favorite sport across America. Created in the 1800s, football has grown to become a multi-billion-dollar industry, with college football accounting for a growing share of the football market. With billions of dollars in the game, it’s no wonder that TV ratings are off the charts. Football is America’s game, and that’s a fact!
According to stats from the world’s leading portal, Statista, the average TV viewership of the NFL regular season, 2010 through 2019, is steadily rising. In 2017, NFL regular-season viewership [average viewership per game on TV] hit a multi-year low, at 14.9 million viewers. However, that number rapidly crept up to 15.8 million viewers in 2018, and hit 16.5 million viewers in 2019. Such is the immense appeal of football that it also reigns supreme at legendary bookmakers in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and at the premiere online bookmakers too. Football bettors have several options, with high-octane NCAAF football, and Pro-Football betting. While bet on the NFL dominates, bets on the XFL are hugely popular too. College Football, and Professional Football are symbiotic, and crucial to the overall success of the game. There’s no doubt about football’s growing dominance in the sporting world.
Gridiron for The Holidays – a Spectacular Festivity of Raw Action
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Football is predominantly played during the winter season. This means that all the big holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year – are all part and parcel of the football season. Americans, Canadians, and a growing contingent of football-crazed fans worldwide now associate the holidays with football. While the regular season features just 16 games, that’s more than enough to captivate the public’s attention with the NFL. The XFL features an abridged season of play, with just 10 games played during the regular season for each team. The top 2 teams from each of the divisions continue on towards the playoffs, with the East Division and the West Division title games taking place. The runaway success of professional football leagues promises action-packed entertainment for fans everywhere. There was a time when football aficionados believed that the NFL was enough, but the XFL adds plenty of fireworks to the football scene.
Believe it or not, the Super Bowl continues to shatter record in terms of TV viewership. Super Bowl LIII racked up an average TV audience viewership of 19.2 million people, but digital and streaming media help to boost this figure to a total of 100.7 million screaming and cheering football fans. Statista indicated the most heavily-watched Super Bowl was the match between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. A record tally of 114.4 million football fans tuned in to watch the match. In 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs went hell for leather against the San Francisco 49ers, with a total of 99.9 million football viewers across the US. Clearly, the benchmark is 100 million+ viewers, and that tops most every other sport in the US by a longshot. According to TV ratings, American football is #1, followed by baseball at #2, basketball at #3, soccer at #4, and ice hockey at #5. With each regression down the ladder, viewership drops off steeply. That’s how popular American football is with fans!
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Football gets tremendous coverage in the media, including across social media, TV news, and beyond. Such is the worldwide appeal of the game that there are even games played in the United Kingdom, owing to the tremendous home-crowd support for American football in Britain. Perhaps it’s the behind-the-scenes work with coaches, assistant coaches, and playmakers, with tactics, strategies, skill, talent, and brute force power that makes the game so insanely exciting. Every play is carried out with laser-sharp precision, with bullet passes, crunching tackles, and spectacular dives.
Football truly is every bit as remarkable as the hype surrounding the game. Yet, there been some troubling developments in recent years, with football popularity ebbing and flowing since 2013. Nationwide attendance at football games at colleges across the country peaked at 44 million fans, before tapering off sharply since then. Aspen Institute, in conjunction with the National Federation of State High School Associations reported huge decreases in the number of school going folks playing football, with declines evident in the NFL between 2011-2019 of 12.5 million viewers. Yet, football fans and the game itself are resilient. Numbers are rising, viewership is increasing, and the appeal of the game has never been stronger excellent
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