28 January 2013

Why so many people watch the Pro Bowl

Everybody knows that the Pro Bowl is consistently dreadful. And yet, we see it year in and year out. The biggest reason why the game is held is because so many people watch it. Just look at the overnight ratings for last night's game; a 7.7 rating with 12.5 million viewers, which won the night for NBC (which is precisely why the low-rated network took the game off the hands of CBS). But why do so many people watch a game that is so constantly derided?

It really does not matter what the event is, if it is associated in any way with the NFL, it is going to get a good number. Even the preseason, which is comparable in quality to the Pro Bowl, gets a solid number, considering that it airs during the end of the summer, when television ratings have historically been low. And when you look at a game like the Pro Bowl, which features the very best of the league on the same playing field, even though there is really no effort, the folks are going to watch.

Plus, there's no other sporting events that are really in direct competition with the Pro Bowl. Like last night, there was one NBA game and a couple scratch college hoops games, neither of which are anywhere close to be as popular as something tied together by the NFL. And considering that we have had NFL football every Sunday from early September until the Super Bowl, we are used to having football on our screens that particular day. Naturally, if there is NFL action going on, folks are going to tune in so they can get their football fix, no matter how poor quality the action is.

And these big numbers for the Pro Bowl likely mean that the game is here to stay, which is unfortunate but that's also the way it is. One simply has to look at it from the NFL's standpoint and see the big numbers and the hearty advertising dollars rolling in to why they will keep the game in place. Now, if we were to see a serious injury in the Pro Bowl, that's when things would likely change.

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