NCTA’s Programming Stories year in review

Another great year for cable television comes to an end, but before audiences dive into the exciting television that lies ahead in 2023, it’s worth pointing out a handful of the innovative storytelling moments NCTA has covered in 2022. If this year is any indication, viewers will continue to be amazed at how cable TV networks continue to deliver top-notch, compelling, inclusive, and award-winning programming.

Celebrating Milestones

  • AMC’s hit zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead, which morphed into a cultural phenomenon and a wider universe, celebrated its final season last November after 11 seasons. The network also said goodbye to Better Call Saul, the spin-off of Breaking Bad, which aired from 2008 to 2013 and marked 14 years of the Breaking Bad storyline.
  • HBO turned 50 on November 8th. That’s 50 years of award-winning storytelling since its debut in 1972. It was also another big year for HBO at the 74th Emmy Awards, where the network secured 38 wins, including 10 for the limited series, “The White Lotus.” To top it off, the network’s premiere of “House of the Dragon” set a record for the largest audience for a series premiere in HBO history, with 9.99 million viewers.

Diversity leads to authentic storytelling

  • Hallmark Media launched its new Mahogany branded programming initiative last summer. “The launch of Mahogany marks a pivotal moment in the development of Hallmark content, featuring authentic stories of friendship, family, community and love through the unique lens of black women,” said Wonya Lucas, President and CEO of Hallmark Media. Mahogany also released his first holiday film, The Holiday Stocking, this month.
  • AMC’s “Dark Winds” premiered last summer, marking the first time in decades that filming of this scale has been permitted in Monument Valley within the sovereign Navajo Nation. The crime drama was also shot at New Mexico’s first indigenous film studio, and the writers, actors, and production staff are mostly members of the Navajo Nation.
  • Hailed by critics for its racially progressive themes, OWN’s “Queen Sugar” ended a phenomenal seven-season run as an all-female directed show. “I think that’s something that’s a model for what the industry can and should be,” said Stacey Muhammad, one of the series’ co-filmmakers.
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Live sport continues to break records

  • ESPN delivered big as the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks pulled in the biggest Monday Night Football season opener since 2000 with 19.84 million viewers.
  • NBCUniversal covered the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games last February, providing viewers of all skill levels with the most accessible Winter Games coverage ever.
  • At this year’s World Cup, a larger audience tuned in to the tournament to watch the US men’s soccer team play. Over 20 million viewers watched the game between the USA and England on the Fox Sports and Telemundo platforms. The USA-Iran game was also the most streamed World Cup game for Fox Sports.