Football, Yankees, ‘iCarly,’ ‘Video Music Awards’ Lead Cable’s Top Telecasts Of 2010

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No surprise that sporting events dominated cable televisions most viewed shows during 2010. The only non-sports events in the top 25 were an iCarly special episode, the 2010 Video Music Awards, and an episode of The Deadliest Catch.

Rank Date Program Net Avg. Viewership (million)
1 10/25/10 GIANTS/COWBOYS ESPN 17.989
2 9/27/10 PACKERS/BEARS ESPN 17.487
3 10/11/10 VIKINGS/JETS ESPN 17.375
4 12/20/10 BEARS/VIKINGS ESPN 17.094
5 12/28/09 VIKINGS/BEARS ESPN 17.056
6 12/6/10 JETS/PATRIOTS ESPN 16.578
7 9/20/10 SAINTS/49ERS ESPN 15.157
8 11/8/10 STEELERS/BENGALS ESPN 15.053
9 11/15/10 EAGLES/REDSKINS ESPN 15.044
10 9/13/10 RAVENS/JETS ESPN 15.001
11 10/4/10 PATRIOTS/DOLPHINS ESPN 13.994
12 1/18/10 ICARLY NAN 12.383
13 1/31/10 2010 AFC-NFC PRO BOWL ESPN 12.367
14 9/12/10 2010 VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS MTV 12.063
15 11/1/10 TEXANS/COLTS ESPN 11.954
16 12/13/10 RAVENS/TEXANS ESPN 11.927
17 9/13/10 CHARGERS/CHIEFS ESPN 11.922
18 10/22/10 YANKEES-RANGERS 6 TBSC 11.910
19 11/22/10 BRONCOS/CHARGERS ESPN 11.720
20 11/29/10 49ERS/CARDINALS ESPN 11.218
21 7/8/10 LEBRON – THE DECISION L ESPN 9.956
22 9/6/10 BOISE ST/VIRGINIA TECH ESPN 9.902
23 10/19/10 RANGERS-YANKEES 4 TBSC 9.849
24 10/18/10 TITANS/JAGUARS ESPN 9.674
25 7/13/10 DEADLIEST CATCH DISC 9.606


And to answer the inevitable commenter plea “What about the list without all the sports?” Here’s the top 25 non-sports cable telecasts for 2010, packed with the heavily viewed TNT duo of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles.

Rank Date Program Net Avg. Viewership (million)
1 1/18/10 ICARLY NAN 12.383
2 9/12/10 2010 VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS MTV 12.063
3 7/13/10 DEADLIEST CATCH DISC 9.606
4 9/6/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 9.380
5 8/9/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 9.340
6 9/6/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 9.302
7 7/30/10 ICARLY NICK 9.074
8 9/3/10 CAMP ROCK 2 – FINAL JAM DSNY 9.063
9 7/12/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 9.049
10 8/30/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.992
11 9/13/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.899
12 7/12/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.826
13 7/19/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.788
14 8/23/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.759
15 8/9/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.699
16 9/18/10 FRED: THE MOVIE NICK 8.650
17 9/13/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.542
18 8/23/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.450
19 8/30/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.424
20 8/2/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.414
21 8/16/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.396
22 7/26/10 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 8.332
23 6/4/10 ICARLY MOVIE: IPSYCHO NICK 8.293
24 8/16/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.242
25 8/2/10 CLOSER, THE TNT 8.234

And after Robert pointed me to a spreadsheet I had overlooked, here’s the top 25 cable programs in 2010 for adults 18-49 viewership.

Rank Date Program Net Adults 18-49 Viewership (million)
1 9/27/10 Packers/Bears ESPN 9.445
2 10/25/10 Giants/Cowboys ESPN 9.399
3 10/11/10 Vikings/Jets ESPN 9.363
4 12/6/10 Jets/Patriots ESPN 8.308
5 9/13/10 Ravens/Jets ESPN 8.260
6 11/15/10 Eagles/Redskins ESPN 8.242
7 12/20/10 Bears/Vikings ESPN 8.081
8 11/8/10 Steelers/Bengals ESPN 8.080
9 12/28/09 Vikings/Bears ESPN 8.048
10 9/20/10 Saints/49ers ESPN 8.034
11 9/12/10 2010 Video Music Awards MTV 7.897
12 10/4/10 Patriots/Dolphins ESPN 7.389
13 9/13/10 Chargers/Chiefs ESPN 7.224
14 11/1/10 Texans/Colts ESPN 6.525
15 11/22/10 Broncos/Chargers ESPN 6.088
16 7/13/10 Deadliest Catch DISC 5.966
17 12/13/10 Ravens/Texans ESPN 5.920
18 11/29/10 49ers/Cardinals ESPN 5.768
19 7/8/10 Lebron – The Decision ESPN 5.714
20 1/31/10 2010 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl ESPN 5.610
21 10/18/10 Titans/Jaguars ESPN 5.563
22 12/5/10 Walking Dead AMC 5.441
23 9/9/10 Jersey Shore 2 MTV 5.389
24 9/30/10 Jersey Shore 2 MTV 5.277
25 9/2/10 Jersey Shore 2 MTV 5.226


All are individual broadcast “Most Current” measurement, which are Live+7 Day Ratings for most shows except the late December football games, for which they are Live + Same Day ratings.
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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