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The impact of Thanksgiving Day Parade performances on Broadway shows

What the data illustrates about web traffic and social media conversations tied to the annual broadcasts.

A view of the Turkey float during the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 24, 2022 in New York City (Credit: Gotham/GC Images)

A performance slot on the broadcast of the Thanksgiving Day Parade is considered a coveted one for Broadway. Typically, NBC’s airing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade includes live performances of multiple Broadway musicals from the stage in front of Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street. CBS’ parade coverage includes prerecorded Broadway performances, often staged inside their respective theaters. Both are desirable for shows aiming to reach audiences from across America.

According to Variety, in 2022, the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade garnered 27.7 million viewers on Thanksgiving Thursday, including linear NBC viewing and streaming on Peacock. In 2021, the broadcast drew 27.4 million. Both years bested pre-pandemic viewership; in 2019, NBC’s show reached 22.1 million viewers. On CBS, in 2022, the network’s parade coverage pulled in 22.3 million live viewers. In 2021, that figure was 21.7 million. That’s a lot of potential eyeballs for any Broadway show. 

It’s also a more general audience than, say, the viewers of the annual Tony Awards. Because of that, shows have an opportunity through the parade to introduce themselves to the public at large.

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