The Nielsen Ratings are the barometer of what people sitting on their sofas around the country are watching at any moment in time on television. Their rating can make or break a TV show, commercial or event's future and affect everything from jobs of actors, directors and tons of other employees. Nielsen recently produced a report titled, "State of the Media: 2011 Year in Sports. It is a compilation of media highlights, advertiser trends and consumer insights across leading sports properties.
Some of their highlights include the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, March Madness leading to UConn's NCAA Championship, the Boston Bruins winning (NHL), the Miami Heat losing (NBA), the World Series and other big name sports (NASCAR, Women's World Cup, etc.).
As far as the NFL was concerned, the two biggest sports newsmakers were the NFL's Super Bowl and Playoffs, with the end of the Lockout and the NBA finals coming up next. Tim Tebow's Through My Eyes' was the top selling sports biography, selling double the number of copies that Baltimore Ravens RT Michael Oher's 'I Beat The Odds.'
Nielsen breaks down athletes by endorsement potential among different races, cultures and nationalities. They say the top athletes are Tom Brady (among Hispanics), Serena Williams (among African-Americans), Peyton Manning (among Caucasians) and Roger Federer (among Asians).
The top five NFL games on TV in 2011 were the 2011 Super Bowl (111 million viewers), the AFC Championship Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (54M), the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears (51M), the "other" Thanksgiving game between the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins (30M) and the season-opening classic between the Packers and New Orleans Saints (27M).
More information and reports can be found on their own website, the Nielsen Wire.