Pro Bowl Still Gets Great Viewership Even Though Game Quality Isn’t Good
Every single year I hear the massive criticism of the NFL Pro Bowl, yet the ratings continue to push the event each and every year.
The NFL clearly doesn't want its prized possessions, the gems of the league to get injured in a showcase game, so as much publicly as they want to claim disgust at times with the level of competition, the bottom line behind the scenes drive their desire to continue the game.
The ratings and viewership numbers back it up.
Last year's Pro Bowl game in 2014 had 11.7 million viewers which according to a SI.com article, narrowly outdrew the Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 and doubled the viewing audience of the Western Finals Game 5, both the highest rated NBA Playoffs games during the 2013 Conference Finals.
I'm not saying the ratings add to the quality of a game the viewers are watching, I'm just pointing out the reason for the game itself, the pure fact the NFL can make even more money on its players.
Plus, it shows that the product, the NFL product and its players, are so desirable even in a undesirable setting.
All that said, the viewership was down about 1 million in viewers from the 2013 Pro Bowl to the 2014 Pro Bowl, so we'll have to pay attention to see if that trend continues in 2015.
In 2015, the Pro Bowl is state side as Glendale, AZ, the site of Super Bowl XLIX, is hosting both events this year.
I was in Miami when the Pro Bowl last left Hawaii, and the crowd was lively, the players fed off it and it seemed as if the game was a bit more competitive.
I really hope this becomes a tradition and the Pro Bowl accompanies the Super Bowl at its host site each and every year.
That will correlate to better crowds, better atmosphere and hypothetically a better product on the field. That ultimately is up to the players though, however as mentioned, it doesn't seem to matter as fans tune in regardless.
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