The 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade drew 27.7 million viewers on Thursday when counting both linear viewing on NBC and streaming on sister platform Peacock.
Last year, across all platforms, including its inaugural stream on Peacock, the parade drew 27.4 million viewers (25.4 million viewers on NBC alone), meaning 2022 got just enough of an edge on last year to land the parade’s most viewers in five years.
The three-hour special that aired 9 a.m.-noon in all time zones and the 2 p.m.-5 p.m. repeat, plus digital viewership as well as streaming on Peacock, brought in a total of 27.7 million viewers and a 7.2 rating in adults 18-49, according to early Nielsen fast nationals provided by NBC.
Looking at the live telecast alone, the parade got 22.3 million viewers and a 5.5 rating, still topping 2021’s comparable figure of 21.7 million live viewers and matching the live 5.5 rating.
Per NBC, “the parade was Peacock’s most popular entertainment simulstream event ever, more than doubling reach for the 2021 parade.” It was also NBC’s highest-rated and most-watched entertainment program of the year.
In 2021, the parade saw the return of crowds to the event after the 2020 parade was downsized and closed to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic — being filmed as a broadcast-only event in the Herald Square area.
NBC followed the parade on its Thanksgiving Day lineup as usual with “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.” That program got 11.2 million viewers and a 2.8 rating, including streaming viewership.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of television’s oldest annual traditions. The parade began as a ballyhoo event for the famed retailer in Manhattan’s Herald Square in 1924. NBC began covering the event in 1953. The telecast is a massive live production for NBC. The parade, with its signature blend of giant inflatable character balloons, floats, marching bands and performance segments, and has turned into a prime promotional showcase for family friendly entertainment fare.