The 2022 World Athletics Championships, which concluded July 24 at Eugene’s Hayward Field, featured record-breaking performances by world-class athletes, and boasted a total in-person attendance number of 146,033. The event, which was held for the first time in the United States, also drew a total of 18.7 million viewers across NBC Sports platforms, which NBC Sports says makes it the most-watched world track and field championships on record (since 1988).
The 18.7 million total viewers figure marks a 65 percent increase over NBC Sports’ 2017 coverage of the event when it was in London, which reached 11.3 million viewers.
The final night of competition, broadcast July 24 on NBC, averaged 2.362 million viewers who watched it only on linear TV, according to NBC Sports. That represents the network’s most-watched track and field program in 26 years, with the exception of Olympics and U.S. Team Trials. Viewership peaked at 3.2 million viewers at the end of the competition, and the broadcast ranked as the second most-watched sports program of the weekend.
In a further breakdown of the ratings, NBC Sports says the coverage that aired on NBC, which included four primetime programs, averaged nearly 2 million TV-only viewers. The July 22 primetime coverage on cable’s USA Network averaged 783,000 TV-only viewers, NBC Sports’ second most-watched track and field cable telecast on record (excluding Olympics coverage and U.S. Team Trials), according to NBC Sports.
Across all 43 hours of TV coverage on NBC, USA Network and CNBC, the championships averaged 834,000 viewers, which NBC Sports says is the highest average for the event since 2015.
In addition, NBC Sports says the championships set a new streaming record, with more than 200 million minutes viewed across Peacock, the NBCUniversal streaming service, and NBC Sports digital platforms.
— Kristi Turnquist
firstname.lastname@example.org 503-221-8227 @Kristiturnquist