Thursday, January 6, 2022

YE2021 Review: Winning the Day

One way I like to look at how popular a sport or event might be is to see how it does in comparison to all other events (/programs) that aired that same day. This includes ALL cable programs. From FOX News to WETV.

It's no secret that sports dominate cable TV these days, so let's tease out how many times a specific league or event finished on the day it aired. 

Here's how many times in 2021 these leagues and events finished in the top 15 on the day they aired on cable television:

That's a lot of soccer-related events! Easy to see the order of things, however. Liga MX and the Premier League topped any of the other leagues broadcast on US cable TV. EURO 2021 (2020) dominated the soccer calendar.

To the right of the table you'll see red bars. These indicate the percentage of times each league or event finished in the top 15 out of all the times it aired. 

For example: College Football (CFB) had a total of 542 programs (dedicated shows) that finished in the top 150 cable programs in 2021. 210 of those finished in the top 15, which means 39% of College Football programming finished in the top 15 on the day.

I used gray to sort of break them out in tiers.


1. Somewhat surprisingly, the sport of BASKETBALL is the number one draw on cable TV in 2021. Some of that total is due to the volume of games played, but it's worth a callout non-the-less. 532 total programs finishing in the top 15 on the day.

2. GRIDIRON finishes 2nd. NFL and College Football finished in the top fifteen 453 times last year.

3. PRO WRESTLING is our 3rd most popular sport in the United States last year. WWE and AEW finished with a combined 241.

4. The 4th most popular sport in the US (on cable) is soccer. EURO 2021, Liga MX, Premier League, Gold Cup and Copa America regularly finished in the top 15 last year with a total of 153.

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