It's not "Property Brothers," though the HGTV series claimed five of last Super Bowl Sunday's Top 20 slots
Sunday will be the biggest television day of the year, with Super Bowl LIV likely averaging 100 million-plus viewers for broadcast network Fox.
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But what will be cable's most-watched show that same day? Expect Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl," which airs at multiple times throughout the day, to once again fetch first place among all shows on the channels you actually pay for.
Should everything stay relatively consistent with 2019, the runner-up on cable will likely again be Fox News Channel's morning show, "Fox & Friends Sunday," which drew 1.711 million total viewers in the 9 a.m. ET hour ahead of last year's Super Bowl LIII.
"Puppy Bowl" lapped up 1.854 million viewers six hours later.
"Fox & Friends" co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade and Pete Hegseth are already in Miami, Fla., the site of Super Bowl LIV and the city where the cable news personalities will be working all weekend long. On Sunday, the conservative quartet start their day at 6 a.m. ET and will pretty much own the (cable) airwaves over the next four hours -- about the same length of time Super Bowl LIV itself should play out on Fox's broadcast channel.
Lest you forgot, Fox broadcast channel, Fox News and Fox Sports are pretty much what's left of Fox after Disney's big takeover. So yeah, Sunday is set to be a pretty big day for that trio of remaining assets.
Below are the Top 20 cable programs in total viewers for Super Bowl Sunday 2019. That big "Fox & Friends" hour isn't the only appearance on the list by the popular cable news network.
- "Puppy Bowl" (Animal Planet, 3 p.m.): 1.854 million total viewers
- "Fox & Friends Sunday" (Fox News, 9 a.m.): 1.711 million total viewers
- "NFL Primetime" (ESPN, 10:32 p.m.): 1.618 million total viewers
- "Fox & Friends Sunday" (Fox News, 8 a.m.): 1.610 million total viewers
- "Sunday Morning Futures" (Fox News, 10 a.m.): 1.458 million total viewers
- "Media Buzz" (Fox News, 11 a.m.): 1.359 million total viewers
- "Fixer Upper" (HGTV, 11 a.m.): 1.337 million total viewers
- "Property Brothers" (HGTV, 5 p.m.): 1.294 million total viewers
- "PGA Tour: 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open" (Golf Channel, 1 p.m.): 1.288 million total viewers
- "Property Brothers" (HGTV, 3 p.m.): 1.273 million total viewers
- "Island Life" (HGTV, 10:30 p.m.): 1.269 million total viewers
- "Windy City Rehab" (HGTV, 12 p.m.): 1.265 million total viewers
- "Property Brothers" (HGTV, 2 p.m.): 1.251 million total viewers
- "Worst Cooks in America" (Food Network, 10 p.m.): 1.234 million total viewers
- "Property Brothers" (HGTV, 4 p.m.): 1.230 million total viewers
- "House Hunters International" (HGTV, 11:30 p.m.): 1.195 million total viewers
- "Property Brothers" (HGTV, 1 p.m.): 1.179 million total viewers
- "House Hunters International" (HGTV, 11 p.m.): 1.152 million total viewers
- "America's News HQ" (Fox News, 12 p.m.): 1.150 million total viewers
- "48 Hours on ID" (ID, 4 p.m.): 1.132 million total viewers
Fox News' four slots appears quaint in the shadow of HGTV. The former Home & Garden TV channel laid claim half of the slots -- and half of those went to one show: "Property Brothers."
By the way, you think you like Super Bowl Sunday? That 10-of-20 thing isn't typical for HGTV. This past Sunday, HGTV claimed zero slots in the Top 20 -- the network's most-watched show, "Love It or List It," ranked No. 29. The Sunday before last year's Super Bowl made room for five HGTV shows in the Top 20.
Why is that? Well, I would argue that few channels are more female-skewing than HGTV, and few television programs skew more male than football. So even though the Super Bowl has the highest female appeal of any sporting event, HGTV still likely retains a disproportionate number of viewers.
Way, way, way, WAY higher any of those above Top-20 cable programs on Feb. 3, 2019 was (of course) Super Bowl LIII, which drew 98.2 million total viewers last year on CBS. That's a huge number, but the 2019 NFL championship game marked the first time since 2009 that the Super Bowl didn't top 100 million viewers.
What happened? Well, nothing happened -- quite literally. The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in the lowest scoring Super Bowl on record.
Here's to a less sleepy Sunday this time around.
Super Bowl LIV, in which the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers, kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Fox.
10 Highest-Rated TV Specials of 2019: From Hostless Oscars to 'Little Mermaid Live' (Photos)
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- Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp
- ABC/Mitch Haaseth
- Peter Kramer/NBC
The Emmys missed the cut this year, but the rest of these did not
With increased competition and a general downward trend in live viewing, television specials tend to feel, well, less special with each passing year. There are still quite a few annual must-see live-TV hours -- and no, we're not even talking about sports (for this one).
From the Oscars to the Emmys and everything toward the top, TheWrap ranked the 10 highest-rated broadcast-television entertainment specials of 2019. All numbers in this story come from Nielsen's Live + Same Day data set and measures adults 18-49, the demographic most sought after by advertisers on entertainment programming.
Thanks to ABC's "The Little Mermaid Live," we've got a musical on the list again this year. We declined to include the Oscars red carpet half-hours this time around, as they would bump a few standalone specials from the Top 10.