How Did The NFL Pull This One Off? Pro Bowl Ratings Highest In 8 Years

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I watched a good bit of the Pro Bowl and I really thought I was the only person tuning in at all. I couldn't have been more wrong. According to the AP this year's Pro Bowl got it's highest ratings since 2000, and was up a staggering 37% over last year's telecast....

The game on FOX got a 6.3 rating compared to a 4.6 from last year and the 8.6 in 2000. There are a ton of rumors surrounding All Star Games these days, but that's actually a respectable number that could keep the game in Hawaii. As long as nothing else is really going on that weekend it seems like the Pro Bowl could keep this up.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 4:07 PM


My guess? League interns swept through drugstores nationwide buying up all the sleep-aid medications, leaving insomniacs no alternative.

Kyle said...
Feb 12, 2008, 4:20:00 PM  

THe reason why the Pro Bowl got good ratigns this year is because the competision was terrible.

Anonymous said...
Feb 12, 2008, 4:49:00 PM  

Maybe I haven't paid attention, but why was the game on FOX? Did ESPN wash their hands of it and FOX low-ball it like they did the BCS? Or is the NFL packaging it with the Super Bowl bid and NBC is going to broadcast it next year (which wouldn't be a bad idea to ensure it stays on a major network). I noticed FOX didn't send their A-crew down there, so it seemed like they didn't want to broadcast it.

Anonymous said...
Feb 12, 2008, 5:10:00 PM  

The NFL packaged the Pro Bowl with the Super Bowl - so next year NBC will broadcast it. If the game is in Hawaii Cris Collinsworth would handle color commentary.

Also last year CBS sent their #2 team to do the Pro Bowl as well.

I personally think the reason for the higher ratings is three-fold.

Reason A is the timeslot. Sunday at 4:30PM ET - the regular viewing time for NFL football. Last years game was on Saturday at 6PM and previous ESPN years were Sunday at 8PM or worse time slots (plus cable - and opposite decent sunday night network programming).

Reason B is the leadin. The leadin was the already highly rated Daytona 500 qualifying.

Reason C is the lack of competition. NBC had hockey. CBS had golf without Tiger and Phil. ABC had an awful NBA game. And the big event of the night - the Grammys - started 20 minutes after the game ended. It's actually a perfect timeslot for the game.

I know I gave 3 reasons but I just came up with a fourth. Peyton Manning played in the first half. Terrell Owens and Tony Romo were still playing in the fourth quarter. Their presence at that late juncture in the game could have potentially kept more eyes on the set.

Jeff Wirtheim

Anonymous said...
Feb 12, 2008, 5:16:00 PM  

Because the nation wanted to see Derek Anderson show the world just how terrible he truly is.

GMoney said...
Feb 12, 2008, 5:25:00 PM  

Good rundown Jeff. I seriously wish you had wrote that piece instead of me :)

Feb 12, 2008, 6:03:00 PM  

Are you serious?

A. The normal time slot is NOT 4pm. On the east coast the majority of games are at 1pm.
B. NASCAR fans also watch the NFL? Think about this: have you EVER seen a NASCAR driver at an NFL game? Why would the fans be any different?
C. I watched 'How to lose a guy in 10 days' for the umpteenth time because it was more interesting than the Pro Bowl.
D. Was that the NASCAR fans who reconized those players or the normal NFL fans?

The ONLY explanation for the Pro Bowl rating is DUMB LUCK and a cold weekend over much of the nation.

Anonymous said...
Feb 12, 2008, 7:22:00 PM  

A. The majority of games are at 1pm ET. But the games people actually want to WATCH are at 4pm if they're not in primetime.
B. An IndyCar race once got a ratings bump solely because it followed British Open coverage. That's two VERY different audiences. Not too far-fetched.

Morgan Wick said...
Feb 12, 2008, 8:28:00 PM  

Anon- I hope you were kidding about the NASCAR driver at NFL games because I've seen tons at them over the past few years.

I've seen Junior, Hamlin, Stewart, and Harvick all at Redskins games and others throughout the NFL.

Also, 7 of the top 10 markets are either East Coast or only an hour behind. I buy both those theories. And How to lose a Guy in Ten Days is a great movie, so I buy your theory as well.

I really just think it was because there was nothing else on.

Feb 12, 2008, 10:03:00 PM  

Matt Kenseth = Packers fan

Anyways, I agree with Jeff & Morgan earlier; Why are most of the marquee football games & Fox baseball games on at 4:00 Eastern? To maximize eyeballs.

Rick James Bible Owner said...
Feb 12, 2008, 10:24:00 PM  

And these ratings were with Siragusa as sideline reporter. Imagine the ratings with EA in a bikini.

jg said...
Feb 12, 2008, 10:48:00 PM  

Last year, CBS had the game moved to Saturday so it wouldnt interfere
with Grammy broadcast, Simms and Nantz supposedly couldnt get from SB to Hawaii in time for game, reason for # 2 broadcast team. Roger Goodell was interviewed on NFLN about this.

NASCAR TV ratings trail only NFL.
Earnhardt has said he is a Skins fan from the time he was a kid.

This also shows how low the NHL's profile is since the game on NBC was their version of Colts-Patriots(Anaheim (defending champion) vs Detroit (best record)).

jg said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:13:00 PM  

The reason? Well, because it was a Cowboys game, with 5 or 6 on the field for every play.

Also, regardless of what the Drivers do...I'm a NASCAR fan, and a big NFL fan. (Though I won't watch any kind of qualifying.)

You want 3 reasons?

1. It's football.
2. It had a ton of Cowboys
3. It had a ton of Cowboys

Adam said...
Feb 13, 2008, 12:45:00 AM  

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