The 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, across all platforms, drew in over 28 million viewers on Thursday, marking it as the most-watched parade to date. The live-linear telecast of this annual New York City event on NBC alone surpassed 22 million viewers, making it the highest-viewed entertainment program of 2023.
The inaugural New York City parade took place in 1924, and its first radio broadcast was in 1932. Television coverage commenced in 1948, with NBC consistently airing the parade since 1953.
This year’s parade gained attention when it briefly halted due to approximately 30 pro-Palestinian protesters being taken into police custody for apparently affixing themselves to the parade route pavement. Following the parade, the National Dog Show, broadcast on NBC and Peacock, attracted 11.9 million viewers and secured a 2.9 rating in the demographic. This also marked an increase from the viewership of last year’s telecast.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade showcased numerous highlights, with notable performances by Cher, a special appearance by Beyoncé, and a viral moment involving the One Piece float. During its inaugural appearance in the parade, the balloon representing Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist of the manga series, encountered an unexpected obstacle, colliding with a tree and resulting in the deflation of Luffy’s iconic hat.
The 22nd edition of the National Dog Show delivered impressive viewership figures for both NBC and Peacock, drawing nearly 12 million viewers. This success adds to the triumph of the 2023 winner, Stache the Sealyham Terrier. It achieved a 2.9 rating in the demographic across NBC and Peacock, marking an increase from the viewership of last year’s broadcast.
The 97th annual parade garnered 28.5 million viewers and secured a substantial 7.2 rating in the 18-49 age demographic. Both figures reflect a six percent increase from last year’s parade. Notably, it emerged as the highest-rated entertainment program of the year in both categories across all broadcast and cable networks. This achievement is especially noteworthy in an era when even significant live events have experienced a decline in ratings in recent years.