The Super Bowl
Making the list is the annual event that holds a full half of the 50 highest-rated TV broadcasts of all time. It's cliché to write that the Super Bowl is more than sports, but what are you gonna do? It's a cultural phenomenon -- a holiday like Easter, only instead of eggs and chocolate, it substitutes Bud, Miller and Coors. Sure, you can watch the Super Bowl for the competition, but many just tune in for the event -- the commercials, the halftime show, the players' off-field stories and the drama.
And you can bet it's no accident.
Starting in 1967 with the simulcast across CBS and NBC (each using the same video but offering different commentary), the Super Bowl has driven the way TV presents sports. It's not a blimp shot of ant-sized players throwing and catching; it's inside the masks and even inside the brains of players, with whom TV encourages us to identify.
Every year the Super Bowl writes another chapter in the story of sports television. And you can bet that every year, a lot of us will be watching.