As we approach the final NFL game of the season between the STL/LA/No One Really Cares Rams and The Fighting Tom Brady’s, it is easy to become awestruck at the sheer numbers the NFL pulls in for their crowning game.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeat of the aforementioned Tom Brady’s last year brought in 103.4 million viewers in the United States. That comes out to about 1 in 3 Americans watching the game – which is a staggering number.
Worldwide though, the NFL has failed to captivate viewers. The 2015 Super Bowl was the most viewed game in NFL history at 160 million people, and of the 160 million, 114.4 were from the United States alone – leaving only 45.6 million viewers around the globe.
The league has done a great job at gaining market share in places like England, Germany, and Australia over the years. You can’t watch an English Premier League match this season and not see a random Giants beanie, or Bengals sweatshirt. Bars in Germany get crowds for NFL Sunday much like soccer bars in the states have recently seen growth to watch EPL.
And while it is great to see the game spreading to other parts of the world, it is important to remember that it is still the infant brother of the World’s Game. Although the United States failed to make the 2018 World Cup (sheds tears), the Final still managed 29.2 million viewers in the United States.
“But Mike, that is such a small number compared to the great and all-powerful NFL, you silly soccer hipster…”. Yes, Chad, it is small on that scale, but how about the total viewership of 1.114 BILLION! (This is essentially one out of seven people on the entire planet)
If you want a closer comparison to the 2015 Super Bowl, you only have to look to the 2014 World Cup (which the United States was actually in, woo), which attracted 1.013 billion people. For those without a T-9 calculator handy, that is a difference of a mere 954 million people. I’m sure that Jaguars vs Texans game in England next year will put a dent in that number.
So for the “get off my lawn” guys out there that only want to talk American Football, I hate to say it but you’re kind of the hipster that watches a small niche sport that the world cares little about. Sorry to ruin your Bud Light.