Earlier this week, viewers across the globe witnessed Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs triumph over Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles in a hard-fought historic Super Bowl. This year’s championship was the first time two black quarterbacks faced off in the big event and the first time two brothers on opposing teams, Jason and Travis Kelce, battled for familial and football supremacy in a Super Bowl. Historically, TV, radio, and online publications have brought us these colorful storylines — making games more interesting to watch. But a younger medium has allowed fans to stay closer to their favorite sports and teams than ever before: podcasts.
The inexpensive entry point for podcasting means anyone can create their own. Even the aforementioned Kelce brothers started a podcast at the beginning of the 2022 NFL season, allowing us to come along on an incredible ride that would eventually lead to both of them meeting on the big stage. Sports podcasts like theirs, and the ability to listen whenever and wherever, bring millions of fans endless analysis and perspectives. But, just like in sports, there can only be one winner that draws in the largest audience.
In an Edison Research first, we tap into Edison Podcast Metrics to identify the most popular sports shows. Edison Podcast Metrics is the only dataset that covers the entire podcasting space, not just networks who opt-in to any particular download counting service. So based on our surveys of over 10,500 U.S. weekly podcast consumers conducted from July to December of 2022, we can measure the top podcasts in the beloved sports genre.
Standing in third place is The Pat McAfee Show 2.0, while second place goes to Barstool Sport’s Pardon My Take. At the top of the podium is The Ringer’s Bill Simmons Podcast –having earned the highest number of U.S. podcast listeners in the third and fourth quarters of 2022.
All three shows cover the hottest stories in sports, occasionally interviewing players and coaches. They publish episodes frequently so listeners can tune in routinely. And they also encompass NFL and NBA news, two sports that align with podcast listeners’ top tastes.
In Q4 2022, according to Edison Podcast Metrics, 29% of the weekly podcast audience age 13 and older say their favorite sport to watch live on television or streaming video is football, followed by a significantly smaller 14% who say basketball. Soccer is the third most popular sport – 9% of podcast listeners say it’s their favorite to watch, which is slightly higher than the 8% of listeners who say baseball.
The order of the #1 and #2 sports to watch among podcast consumers doesn’t come as a surprise, considering those track well with the sports ranking of broadcast viewership in the U.S. Where podcast listeners differ, however, is the #3 ranked sport on this list. Soccer beats out baseball by one point. Call the one-point difference a tie, but this high ranking for soccer is not typically seen in viewership ratings. One might attribute this finding to having been measured during one of the greatest World Cup tournaments ever, with its storybook ending for the sport’s all-time great, Lionel Messi. But a closer look at the data reveals that younger podcast listeners are propelling soccer higher than we see in national consumption measurements.
As EPM subscribers will notice, soccer is the second most popular sport among 13-17-year-old podcast listeners, even edging out basketball. The young group’s affinity for the sport foreshadows the type of sports news, analysis, and stories that will thrive as these listeners mature.
As fans, we love to watch our heroes on game day, but it wouldn’t be as rewarding as it is to watch them win if we didn’t understand the meaning behind every blood, sweat, and tear they endure. You can bet that fans will continue using podcasts to stay up to date with and as a proxy for walking alongside their favorite players and teams, even in the off-season, waiting for the moment that we get another chance to win it all.
Edison Research will be posting the top shows in other genres. Subscribe here to stay up to date.
Top 50 Podcasts in the U.S. for Q4 2022 Revealed from Edison Podcast Metrics
We are proud to announce this quarter’s rankings of the most listened-to podcasts in the U.S. from Edison Podcast Metrics.
The latest ranker from Edison Podcast Metrics shows the Top 50 Podcasts based on weekly audience reach, and reflects two significant updates to the service. The sample now includes weekly podcast listeners age 13-17, and rankers reflect the increased sample size of weekly podcast listeners that was implemented last year. Below are the Top 10 Most Listened-To Podcasts in the U.S. based on Q3-Q4 2022, with a total sample size of 10,597 weekly podcast listeners age 13+.
1. The Joe Rogan Experience
2. Crime Junkie
3. The Daily
4. This American Life
5. Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
6. The Ben Shapiro Show
7. Stuff You Should Know
8. Call Her Daddy
9. Office Ladies
10. My Favorite Murder
We hope you will join us for these upcoming live, online presentations!
Registration is now open for the Black Podcast Listener Report on Wednesday, February 22 at 2pm from Edison Research with SXM Media and Mindshare.
Registration is now open for The Infinite Dial 2023 from Edison Research with Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART 19