The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade packed a punch for NBC in its 99th edition. The New York holiday tradition delivered a record audience of 28.5 million viewers across airings Thursday on the network and its streaming sibling Peacock.
In a good sign of the parade’s status as an American institution, more than two-thirds of that audience (22.3 million) came from the live linear telecast on NBC from 8:30 a.m. to noon ET and live streams on Peacock. A little more than 5 million viewers watched a repeat telecast from 2-5 p.m. ET on NBC and on-demand streams via Peacock.
All told across both platforms, viewership was up 6% from last year’s parade in viewers and the adults 18-49 demographic, where it hit a 7.2 rating. In the key demo, live viewing of the parade delivered a 5.3 rating in the demo. That’s a solid NFL-level turnout for a live telecast. This year’s parade included a much-heralded appearance by Cher performing her new Christmas tune, “DJ Play a Christmas Song,” which no doubt boosted interest.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that a record number of people were able to enjoy the parade with their families and friends, and spend the day with us,” said Jen Neal, executive VP of live events and specials for NBCUniversal Media Group. “We take great pride in bringing the best holiday programming to our audience – across both NBC and Peacock – and there’s no better way to bring in the season than with balloons, marching bands, musical performances and a tradition like no other. A big thank you to Macy’s for being such great partners on this iconic event.”
In total viewers, this year’s parade topped the previous high set in 2021 at 25.4 million. In 2020, when viewers were homebound and the parade was pre-taped without crowds because of the COVID pandemic, the unconventional telecast brought in 25.9 million viewers.
NBCUniversal number crunchers noted that this year’s parade marked Peacock’s top entertainment simulcast of an NBC program to date and more than doubled streaming hours from the 2022 telecast.