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The 50 Most Watched Sporting Events in U.S. Television History

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NBA Finals 560x373When you think of the most watched sporting events in the United States, most people probably don’t think about the month of June. It’s a big month in sports though, with the Stanley Cup finals already underway, and the NBA Finals starting later today. Unfortunately the NHL Finals don’t crack the list, but thanks to the NBA Finals, some of the most watched games in sports history have occurred in June…. if you don’t include the Super Bowl in your list.

Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 had a record 114 million viewers and a rating of 47.5. But that is the NFL and since more people watch the NFL than any other sport in America, we had to give them their own article. Otherwise you would be reading about the NFL’s most watched games and nothing else. Millions of fans have been watching all the major sports in America for a very long time. We have done the research and put together a list of the 50 most watched sporting events in US history. (Excluding the NFL)

50. 1984 World Series Game 2

1984 World Series Game 2 560x373

Who: Detroit Tigers vs. San Diego Padres

Where: Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 26/32.01 Million

49. 1991 World Series Game 4

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Who: Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves

Where: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 22.9/32.1 Million

48. 1986 World Series Game 2

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Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

TV Rating/Viewers: 25.5/32.34 Million

47. 1987 World Series Game 5

1987 World Series Game 5 560x374

Who: Minnesota Twins vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.4/32.55 Million

46. 2010 Winter Olympics

2010 winter olympics opening ceremony 560x315

Broadcast: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Where: Sochi, Russia

TV Rating/Viewers: 18.5/32.6 Million

45. 1985 World Series Game 3

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Who: Kansas City Royals vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 25.4/32.8 Million

44. 1990 World Series Game 4

Who: Cincinnati Reds vs. Oakland Athletics

Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 21.4/32.91 Million

43. 1998 NBA Finals Game 4

1998 NBA Finals Game 4 560x314

Who: Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 19.1/33 Million

42. 1996 NBA Finals Game 4

Who: Seattle Supersonics vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Key Arena in Seattle, Washington

TV Rating/Viewers: 18.1/33 Million

41. 1996 NBA Finals Game 5

Who: Seattle Supersonics vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Key Arena in Seattle, Washington

TV Rating/Viewers: 17.2/33 Million

40. 1986 World Series Game 1

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Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.1/33.10 Million

39. 1991 World Series Game 3

1991 World Series Game 3 560x315

Who: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

Where: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.5/33.17 Million

38. 1991 World Series Game 5

1991 World Series Game 5 560x315

Who: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

Where: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 22.9/33.18 Million

37. 1986 World Series Game 3

Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

TV Rating/Viewers: 25.6/33.2 Million

36. 2015 NCAA Football Championship

Who: Ohio State vs. Oregon

Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

TV Rating/Viewers: 18.9/33.4 Million

35. 1987 World Series Game 2

1987 World Series Game 2 560x373

Who: Minnesota Twins vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV Rating/Viewers: 21.9/33.66 Million

34. 1994 Winter Olympics

1994 winter olympics opening ceremony 560x315

Broadcast: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Where: Lillehammer, Norway

TV Rating/Viewers: 20.9/33.84 Million

33. 1984 World Series Game 1

1984 World Series Game 1 560x373

Who: Detroit Tigers vs. San Diego Padres

Where: Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 27.7/33.86 Million

32. 1988 World Series Game 4

1988 World Series Game 4 560x373

Who: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics

Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.2/33.96

31. 1987 World Series Game 4

Who: Minnesota Twins vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.8/34.04 Million

30. 1996 Summer Olympics

1996 Summer Olympics 560x375

Broadcast: Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 21.8/34.11 Million

29. 1986 World Series Game 4

Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

TV Rating/Viewers: 26.0/34.49 Million

28. 1988 World Series Game 2

1988 World Series Game 2 560x315

Who: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics

Where: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.1/34.7 Million

27. 1985 World Series Game 6

1985 World Series Game 6 560x373

Who: St.Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals

Where: Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.2/34.86 Million

26. 1988 World Series Game 3

1988 World Series Game 3 560x315

Who: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics

Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.8/34.99 Million

25. 1987 World Series Game 3

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Who: Minnesota Twins vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.9/34.99 Million

24. 1997 NBA Finals Game 6

Who: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz

Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 18.5/35 Million

23. 1996 NBA Finals Game 6

Who: Chicago Bulls vs. Seattle Supersonics

Where: United Center in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 18.8/35 Million

22. 1993 NBA Finals Game 4

Who: Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 19.8/35 Million

21. 1997 NBA Finals Game 5

Who: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz

Where: Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

TV Rating/Viewers: 20.1/35 Million

20. 1992 World Series Game 6

Who: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves

Where: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 22.7/35 Million

19. 1985 World Series Game 4

1985 World Series Game 4 560x370

Who: St.Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals

Where: Busch Stadium in St.Louis, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.8/35.04 Million

18. 2006 Rose Bowl

Who: USC vs. Texas (BCS Title Game)

Where: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 21.7/35.6 Million

17. 1993 NBA Finals Game 5

1993 NBA Finals Game 5 560x385

Who: Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 19/36 Million

16. 1991 NBA Finals Game 5

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Who: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 19.7/36 Million

15. 1998 NBA Finals Game 5

Who: Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois

TV Rating/Viewers: 19.8/37 Million

14. 1997 World Series Game 7

Who: Cleveland Indians vs. Florida Marlins

Where: Pro Player Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

TV Rating/Viewers: 24.5/37.99 Million

13. 1998 NBA Finals Game 6

Who: Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

TV Rating/Viewers: 22.3/38 Million

12. 1986 World Series Game 5

1986 World Series Game 5 560x434

Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

TV Rating/Viewers: 29.8/38.71 Million

11. 1988 World Series Game 5

Who: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics

Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

TV Rating/Viewers: 27/38.8 Million

10. 1993 NBA Finals Game 6

1993 NBA Finals Game 6 560x385

Who: Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls

Where: America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona

TV Rating/Viewers: 20.3/39 Million

9. 2001 World Series Game 7

Who: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees

Where: Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.5/39.08 Million

8. 1996 Summer Olympics

1996 opening 560x314

Who: Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

TV Rating/Viewers: 23.6/39.77 Million

7. 1991 World Series Game 6

Who: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV Rating/Viewers: 25.4/40.83 Million

6. 1986 World Series Game 6

Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

TV Rating/Viewers: 30.3/44.51 Million

5. 1985 World Series Game 7

Who: St.Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals

Where: Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

TV Rating/Viewers: 32.6/45 Million

4. 2002 Winter Olympics

2002 Opening 560x365

Broadcast: Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Where: Salt Lake City, Utah

TV Rating/Viewers: 25.5/45.6 Million

3. 1991 World Series Game 7

Who: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV Rating/Viewers: 32.2/50.34 Million

2. 1987 World Series Game 7

Who: Minnesota Twins vs. St.Louis Cardinals

Where: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV Rating/Viewers: 32.6/51.18 Million

1. 1986 World Series Game 7

Who: New York Mets vs. Boston Red Sox

Where: Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

TV Rating/Viewers: 38.9/58 Million

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