Pro Bowl Before Super Bowl Brings in Ratings

By Joseph Olmo
Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

It may be the worst All-Star Game in professional sports as it pertains to competition, but fans still watch the NFL Pro Bowl.

The average amount of total points scored in the game have gone up drastically over the past 15 years. Last year’s game saw a total of 100 points scored. There is no defense played and most of them don’t care to try.

Even Aaron Rodgers, at least year’s Pro Bowl, couldn’t stand the lackluster effort from the players on the field. He told ESPN 540 in Milwaukee, “I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves.”

It doesn’t matter to many of the players if the game is played or not, but it matters to the owners and the league because of the money and television ratings that come from it.

This will be the fourth year where they play the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl. It may not be a player’s favorite game to be a part of, but the die-hard fans of the sport will come out to watch.

The 2010 Pro Bowl drew an overnight rating of 12.3 million viewers. The 2011 Pro Bowl had 13.4 million viewers watching. The 2012 Pro Bowl dropped in viewers back down to 12.5 million viewers, but still outdrew most of the biggest sporting events of that year including the final round of the U.S. Open, the MLB All-Star game and every NHL game played.

The NFL’s dominance in this country is evident in the numbers. The fact that the players don’t care to play doesn’t mean anything. I say leave the game where it is slotted. More people are likely to tune in to the Pro Bowl game before the Super Bowl rather than after because of the two week gap after the Conference Championships.

Even if the competitiveness doesn’t exist, the fan support does. We can complain about the game all we want but many of us will still watch, and the NFL knows this. Does anyone remember the replacement referees or the lockout? The fans will still come out in support of America’s number one sport no matter how ugly it looks.

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