Halftime: Top 100 Sporting Events on Broadcast and Cable in 2011

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With 2011 more than halfway over, here is a look at the 100 most-viewed sporting events of the year so far.

The NFL continued its reign as the most-viewed American sport, taking up the top eleven spots and twelve of the top thirteen. Super Bowl XLV between the Packers and Steelers earned over 111 million viewers, an all-time record for U.S. television.

The most-viewed non-NFL sporting event was the Auburn/Oregon BCS National Championship Game, which earned over 27 million viewers on ESPN. Though down from the 2010 title game on ABC, which earned over 30 million viewers, the event ranks as the top program in cable television history.

The deciding game of the NBA Finals drew the second-largest non-NFL audience, as 23.9 million viewers tuned into Game 6 between the Mavericks and Heat. The game ranks as the second-most viewed NBA telecast since Michael Jordan‘s 1998 retirement.

Returning to the college ranks, the Connecticut/Butler NCAA Tournament National Championship Game ranks as the fourth-most viewed non-NFL sporting event of the year, with just over 20 million viewers.

Other notable events in the top 100 include the MLB All-Star Game, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and the Mexico/United States Gold Cup final on Univision and Fox Soccer.

100 Most-Viewed Sporting Events of 2011

#
Date
Sport
Game/Event
Net
Rating
Viewers
1
Sun., 2/6/11
NFL
Super Bowl: GB 31, PIT 25 FOX
46.0
111,010
2
Sun., 1/23/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: NYJ 19, PIT 24 CBS
28.3
54,850
3
Sun., 1/23/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: GB 21, CHI 14 FOX
28.1
51,884
4
Sun., 1/16/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: NYJ 28, NE 21 CBS
24.2
43,463
5
Sun., 1/9/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: GB 21, PHI 16 FOX
22.1
39,274
6
Sat., 1/15/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: BAL 24, PIT 31 CBS
19.4
34,009
7
Sat., 1/8/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: NYJ 17, IND 16 NBC
18.7
33,350
8
Sun., 1/16/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: SEA 24, CHI 35 FOX
19.1
32,493
9
Sat., 1/15/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: GB 48, ATL 21 FOX
17.0
30,569
10
Sun., 1/9/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: BAL 30, KC 7 CBS
17.1
28,384
11
Sat., 1/8/11
NFL
NFL Playoffs: NO 36, SEA 41 FOX
16.8
28,304
12
Mon., 1/10/11
NCAAF
BCS Champ.: AUB 22, ORE 19 ESPN
15.3
27,316
13
Sun., 1/2/11
NFL
Regular Season: CHI 3, GB 10* FOX
14.7
26,147
14
Sun., 6/12/11
NBA
NBA Finals: DAL 105, MIA 95 ABC
13.3
23,880
15
Sat., 1/1/11
NCAAF
Rose Bowl: TCU 21, WISC 19 ESPN
11.3
20,558
16
Mon., 4/4/11
NCAAB
Final Four: CT 53, BUT 41 CBS
11.7
20,055
17
Sun., 1/2/11
NFL
Regular Season: STL 6, SEA 16 NBC
11.3
19,357
18
Thu., 6/9/11
NBA
NBA Finals: MIA 103, DAL 112 ABC
10.8
18,318
19
Sun., 1/2/11
NFL
Regular Season: TEN 20, IND 23* CBS
9.7
16,766
20
Sat., 4/2/11
NCAAB
Final Four: CT 56, UK 55 CBS
9.5
16,715
21
Tue., 6/7/11
NBA
NBA Finals: MIA 83, DAL 86 ABC
9.6
16,126
22
Sun., 1/2/11
NFL
Regular Season: TB 23, NO 13* FOX
9.6
16,083
23
Sun., 3/20/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: OSU 98, GMU 66
CBS
9.9
15,886
NCAA Rd. 3: ARIZ 70, TEX 69 TNT
NCAA Rd. 3: VCU 94, PUR 76 TBS
24
Sun., 2/20/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Daytona 500 FOX
8.7
15,597
25
Thu., 6/2/11
NBA
NBA Finals: DAL 95, MIA 93 ABC
9.3
15,522
26
Sun., 6/5/11
NBA
NBA Finals: MIA 88, DAL 86 ABC
9.1
15,338
27
Sun., 4/10/11
Golf (M)
The Masters: Final Round CBS
9.5
15,257
28
Tue., 5/31/11
NBA
NBA Finals: DAL 84, MIA 92 ABC
9.0
15,171
29
Sun., 3/27/11
NCAAB
Elite Eight: UK 76, UNC 69 CBS
8.9
15,082
30
Sat., 5/7/11
Horse
Kentucky Derby, Race Portion NBC
8.5
14,539
31
Sat., 4/2/11
NCAAB
Final Four: BUT 70, VCU 62 CBS
8.3
14,189
32
Fri., 3/25/11
NCAAB
Sweet Sixteen: UK 62, OSU 60 CBS
8.4
13,824
Sweet Sixteen: VCU 72, FSU 71 TBS
33
Tue., 1/4/11
NCAAF
Sugar Bowl: OSU 31, ARK 26 ESPN
8.2
13,635
34
Sun., 1/30/11
NFL
Pro Bowl: NFC 55, AFC 41 FOX
7.7
13,406
35
Sat., 3/19/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: RICH 65, MORE 48 CBS
7.9
12,626
NCAA Rd. 3: SDSU 71, TEMP 64 TNT
NCAA Rd. 3: BUT 71, PIT 70 TBS
36
Sat., 1/1/11
NCAAF
Outback Bowl: UF 37, PSU 24 ABC
7.1
12,445
37
Thu., 3/24/11
NCAAB
Sweet Sixteen: ARI 93, DUKE 77 CBS
7.8
12,418
Sweet Sixteen: BUT 61, WISC 54 TBS
38
Sun., 1/2/11
NFL
Regular Season: PIT 41, CLE 9*
CBS
7.3
12,328
39
Sat., 3/19/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: BYU 89, GONZ 67 CBS
7.2
11,657
NCAA Rd. 3: WISC 70, KSU 65 TNT
NCAA Rd. 3: CT 69, CIN 58 TBS
40
Thu., 3/24/11
NCAAB
Sweet Sixteen: CT 74, SDSU 67 CBS
7.4
11,557
Sweet Sixteen: UF 83, BYU 74 TBS
41
Sun., 5/15/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MIA 83, CHI 102 TNT
6.2
11,109
42
Tue., 7/12/11
MLB
All-Star Game: AL 1, NL 5 FOX
6.9
10,970
43
Sun., 5/22/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: CHI 85, MIA 96
TNT
6.4
10,889
44
Sat., 3/26/11
NCAAB
Elite Eight: CT 65, ARI 63 CBS
6.6
10,823
45
Sat., 1/1/11
NCAAF
Fiesta Bowl: OK 48, CT 20 ESPN
6.2
10,819
46
Mon., 1/3/11
NCAAF
Orange Bowl: STAN 40, VT 12 ESPN
6.7
10,682
47
Sun., 3/27/11
NCAAB
Elite Eight: VCU 71, KU 61 CBS
6.5
10,431
48
Thu., 5/26/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MIA 83, CHI 80 TNT
6.4
10,407
49
Sun., 2/27/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Subway Fresh Fit 500 FOX
5.9
10,346
50
Sun., 3/6/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Kobalt Tools 400 FOX
5.9
10,076
51
Wed., 5/18/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MIA 85, CHI 75 TNT
6.1
10,036
52
Sun., 3/20/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: MARQ 66, SYR 62 TruTV
6.0
10,031
NCAA Rd. 3: KU 73, ILL 59 TNT
NCAA Rd. 3: FSU 71, ND 57 TBS
53
Fri., 1/17/11
NCAAF
Cotton Bowl: LSU 41, TAMU 24 FOX
5.8
10,014
54
Tue., 5/24/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: CHI 93, MIA 101
TNT
6.1
9,770
55
Sun., 3/20/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: DUKE 73, MICH 71
CBS
6.3
9,666
56
Sat., 4/9/11
Golf (M)
The Masters: Third Round CBS
6.5
9,486
57
Fri., 3/18/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: ILL 73, UNLV 62
TBS
5.9
9,278
NCAA Rd. 2: VCU 74, GTWN 56 TNT
NCAA Rd. 2: UW 68, UGA 65 CBS
NCAA Rd. 2: SYR 77, INST 60 TruTV
58
Fri., 3/18/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: KU 72, BU 53 TBS
5.8
9,206
NCAA Rd. 2: UNC 102, LIU 87 CBS
NCAA Rd. 2: PUR 65, PETE 43 TNT
NCAA Rd. 2: MARQ 66, XAV 55 TruTV
59
Sat., 3/26/11
NCAAB
Elite Eight: BUT 76, UF 71
CBS
5.8
9,174
60
Sun., 5/1/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: BOS 90, MIA 99
ABC
5.8
9,169
61
Thu., 3/17/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: UCLA 78, MSU 76 TBS
5.9
9,101
NCAA Rd. 2: CIN 78, MIZZ 63 TNT
NCAA Rd. 2: GONZ 86, SJU 71 CBS
NCAA Rd. 2: KSU 73, UST 68 TruTV
62
Sun., 2/20/11
NBA
All-Star Game: WST 148, EST 143 TNT
5.2
9,093
63
Sat., 6/25/11
Soccer
Gold Cup: MEX 4, USA 2
UNI, FSC
3.6
9,080
64
Sun., 4/17/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Aaron’s 499
FOX
5.2
9,039
65
Thu., 3/17/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: UF 79, UCSB 51
TBS
5.8
8,928
NCAA Rd. 2: BYU 74, WOF 66 CBS
NCAA Rd. 2: CT 81, BUCK 52 TNT
NCAA Rd. 2: WISC 72, BEL 58 TruTV
66
Sun., 5/8/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: LAL 86, DAL 122
ABC
5.3
8,886
67
Sat., 5/21/11
Horse
The Preakness Stakes: Race Portion
NBC
5.6
8,834
68
Fri., 3/25/11
NCAAB
Sweet Sixteen: UNC 81, MARQ 63 CBS
5.5
8,590
Sweet Sixteen: KU 77, RICH 57 TBS
69
Wed., 6/15/11
NHL
Stanley Cup Final: BOS 4, VAN 0
NBC
4.8
8,540
70
Sat., 5/7/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MIA 81, BOS 97
ABC
4.9
8,202
71
Sun, 5/29/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Coca Cola 600
FOX
4.5
8,132
72
Sat., 2/19/11
NBA
NBA All-Star Saturday Night
TNT
4.4
8,090
73
Sun., 3/27/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Auto Club 500
FOX
4.6
8,080
74
Sat., 2/12/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Budweiser Shootout FOX
4.5
7,847
75
Mon., 5/9/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MIA 98, BOS 90
TNT
4.7
7,824
76
Fri., 5/6/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: LAL 92, DAL 98
TNT
4.7
7,658
77
Sat., 3/19/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: UF 73, UCLA 65 CBS
4.9
7,427
78
Mon., 5/23/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: DAL 112, OKC 105
ESPN
4.6
7,410
79
Sun., 5/15/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: FedEx 400
FOX
4.4
7,391
80
Sun., 6/19/11
Golf (M)
U.S. Open: Final Round
NBC
4.5
7,369
81
Sun., 3/20/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Jeff Byrd 400 FOX
4.3
7,240
82
Sun., 4/3/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Goody’s Fast Relief 500 FOX
4.4
7,229
83
Sun., 5/15/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: MEM 90, OKC 105
ABC
4.4
7,141
84
Wed., 6/22/11
Soccer
Gold Cup: MEX 2, HON 0 UNI
2.9
7,115
85
Thu., 5/19/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: OKC 106, DAL 100
ESPN
4.4
7,041
86
Sat., 4/9/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Samsung Mobile 500 FOX
4.0
7,036
87
Wed., 5/4/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: DAL 93, LAL 81
TNT
4.5
7,036
88
Sun., 4/24/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: BOS 101, NY 89
ABC
4.2
7,020
89
Wed., 5/25/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: OKC 96, DAL 100
ESPN
4.5
7,012
90
Sun., 1/30/11
NBA
Regular Season: BOS 109, LAL 96
ABC
4.3
7,003
91
Tue., 5/17/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: OKC 112, DAL 121
ESPN
4.3
6,982
92
Sat., 5/7/11
NASCAR
Sprint Cup: Southern 500 FOX
4.1
6,978
93
Wed., 5/11/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: BOS 87, MIA 97
TNT
4.3
6,777
94
Sun., 5/29/11
IndyCar
IndyCar Series: Indianapolis 500
ABC
4.0
6,711
95
Mon., 7/11/11
MLB
MLB Home Run Derby ESPN
4.0
6,686
96
Fri., 3/18/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: ARI 77, MEM 75
CBS
4.7
6,566
NCAA Rd. 2: DUKE 87, HAMP 45 TruTV
NCAA Rd. 2: FSU 57, TAMU 50 TBS
NCAA Rd. 2: OSU 75, UTSA 46 TNT
97
Sun., 3/13/11
NCAAB
NCAA Tournament Selection Show CBS
4.0
6,476
98
Mon., 5/2/11
NBA
NBA Playoffs: DAL 96, LAL 94
TNT
4.0
6,429
99
Thu., 3/17/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 2: UK 59, PRI 57
CBS
4.4
6,421
NCAA Rd. 2: PITT 74, UNCA 51 TruTV
NCAA Rd. 2: RICH 69, VAN 66 TBS
NCAA Rd. 2: SDSU 68, NOCO 50 TNT
100
Sun., 3/20/11
NCAAB
NCAA Rd. 3: UNC 86, WSH 83
CBS
4.2
6,357

(Asterisk indicates featured game of regional window; Numbers from a variety of sources, including Turner Sports, ESPN, TV By the Numbers, Son of the Bronx and Fox Sports; combined Fox Soccer and Univision rating for Gold Cup final from Cynopsis)

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