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Pro Bowl draws bigger audience than MLB All-Star game

AFC wide receiver Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins celebrates with the trophy after being named MVP of the NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Reuters

The numbers are in.  According to the NFL, an average of 12.5 million people watched the Pro Bowl on Sunday night.

That’s 1.5 million more than the baseball All-Star game.

And while MDS posted basically the same information on Monday, this is an opportunity for me to address the broader question of why the NFL still stages what has become a modified version of two-hand touch.

They do it because people will watch it.  Maybe they only watch because it’s on TV, but they watch.  And maybe most of those “watching” are actually asleep and/or complaining incessantly about the quality of the play, but all that matters are the Nielsen numbers.

Thus, the Pro Bowl will endure, with free trips to Hawaii and some fans booing the actual or perceived lack of effort and most players doing whatever they can to avoid injury and a guy like Brandon Marshall playing really well and creating unrealistic expectations for himself heading in to the next season.

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49 Responses to “Pro Bowl draws bigger audience than MLB All-Star game”
  1. jessieboom says: Jan 31, 2012 9:56 AM

    I knew you couldn’t go 5 paragraphs without pooping on a Dolphins player.

  2. cmstrick says: Jan 31, 2012 9:57 AM

    Do you guys believe in deja vu?

  3. joetoronto says: Jan 31, 2012 9:58 AM

    Baseball sucks, obviously.

  4. dolphan22 says: Jan 31, 2012 9:59 AM

    Why shouldn’t every player have those expectations..although he didn’t say that.

  5. megatronownsyou says: Jan 31, 2012 10:02 AM

    Ok we get it. Mainly because MDS wrote the exact same article yesterday. Football has more fans than baseball. That was something most of us already knew. You sound like you must have something against baseball.

  6. yankees177 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:04 AM

    This was the most pointless all star game of the 4 majors. Neither lines do anything and its a mockery of the actual game. I watched for 5 minutes and had to turn it off. I feel bad for baseball. At least in baseball during the all star game the players pay yet less people watch.

    I think they should make this a pro am flag football game which could be fairly competitive while mitigating injuries as best you can. Just introduce the players during the game so they get the recognition they deserve and stop wasting our time with this crap football game.

  7. cobrala2 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:06 AM

    I am one of the 12,500,000 idiots who wasted my life watching it too.

  8. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Jan 31, 2012 10:15 AM

    Two reasons I watched the Pro-Bowl:
    1. To see what the Bengals players were doing
    2. There was nothing else on tv

  9. scarletmacaw says: Jan 31, 2012 10:18 AM

    Why would anyone watch the MLB All Star game? Haven’t they been on strike since around 1996? That’s when I stopped watching.

  10. realitypolice says: Jan 31, 2012 10:20 AM

    All summer long I got hammered on here for telling people that they all, every single one of them, would be back when the lock out was over.

    People replied with indignation- No way! I’m done! I’ll never watch another NFL game again!

    What a joke. This is why Goodell and DeMo knew they could carry the lockout as far as they needed to get what they wanted.

    if the NFL announced they were going to have an All-Star Farting contest on Wednesday night, it would out rate American Idol.

    Think about this the next time the league does something crappy to it’s fan base, like depriving a teams’s fan base of one of it’s home games.

    It’s the same reason they will never take action to change the Pro Bowl- they don’t have to.

    We have no vote in any of this. We gave it up a very long time ago.

  11. jpb12 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:24 AM

    Roger Goodell wasn’t watching

  12. tombradyallday says: Jan 31, 2012 10:27 AM

    ha its football what did they expect

  13. ahostiletakeover says: Jan 31, 2012 10:27 AM

    I turned it on, saw Matthews intercept Roethlisberger, then a lateral party ensued and the AFC got the ball back. I schuckled and started playing a video game. Its a total joke, especially when guys who deserved it like Lardarius Webb don’t even get voted by their peers and coaches as a 2nd or 3rd alternate.

  14. keeponhating says: Jan 31, 2012 10:31 AM

    Maybe people don’t watch baseball because sick of watching large market teams buy championship. I mean if Dan Snyder owned a baseball team he’d have like five rings. Hard cap and full revenue sharing <===this is how you'll get your audience back MLB

  15. prior0knowledge says: Jan 31, 2012 10:32 AM

    I like the Pro Blow. When you don’t get to the big dance, it is nice to see some of your dudes make an appearance at the Jr Prom.

  16. yevrag3535 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:33 AM

    Who cares, it is January when there is nothing at ALL on tv, No big deal here. The og show would have beaten it out if that was on.

  17. marvsleezy says: Jan 31, 2012 10:37 AM

    It should be $100,000 to the winners instead of $50,000, and 25,000 billed to the losers to go to charity.

    If you dont want to pay up, thats fine, dont play in the game.

    Either that, or let the players gamble on the game – Only betting on their own team of course- All bets made public during a live pre game on field smack talking show!

  18. mrnick66 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:44 AM

    i have no use for this game does anyone remember robert edwards blew out his knee in a sand football game and his career was done end this game and be done with it!!!!!

  19. gwylie1 says: Jan 31, 2012 10:45 AM

    I would rather watch paint dry than baseball

  20. lastdukestreetking says: Jan 31, 2012 10:46 AM

    I can’t believe anyone with a life watches any all-star game.

  21. leylandslung says: Jan 31, 2012 10:52 AM

    How many of those people were asleep?

  22. gosuhgo says: Jan 31, 2012 10:54 AM

    I would be happier if this were actually a flag football game and they took it seriously.

  23. rogerbrad says: Jan 31, 2012 10:54 AM

    It’s football. The season is winding down. So I’m gonna watch to get my football fix. It’s a long time until preseason starts.

    I watch the NFL network daily to keep up on things happening during the off-season, like the Combine, etc. Gotta have my football.

  24. august589 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:01 AM

    Here’s an idea: Let the NFL Network broadcast the Pro Bowl–since hardly anyone gets that network, anyway.

    I know I’m never watching the Pro Bowl again after the farce I watched on Sunday.

  25. fatfreddystubbs says: Jan 31, 2012 11:13 AM

    It’s football. The season is winding down. So I’m gonna watch to get my football fix. It’s a long time until preseason starts.
    ————————————————–
    @rogerbrad,
    I pretty much felt the same way, basically saying “i know this game is a complete joke, but in two weeks when i’m looking at no football for six months, even really bad football, i’ll wish i had watched at least a little bit of it”.

    Well, a little bit was all i could stomach. As low as my expectations were, it was worse than i thought. Midway through the first quarter, I actually went to google and entered in something like “pro bowl player protest” or something like that because the lack of effort and caring was sooooo obvious, I thought maybe there was a coordinated campaign on the part of the players as if they were saying “yeah, it’s an honor to be chosen, and a free trip to Hawaii in January is nice, but we don’t wanna play the actual game so let’s make a mockery of it”.

  26. farmmbig says: Jan 31, 2012 11:23 AM

    Only proves that people will watch ANY crap— like Jersey Shore. Most of the time, TV ratings tell me how bad life is for alot of people… And in the Winter, most people just turn into couch potatoes.

    No one can deny the popularity of the NFL— If something related to the NFL is on TV– it generates alot of interest. Football is the best TV sport — It’s built for TV.

    As for compating it to baseball– Summer season is alot different– Alot of us listen to the game while drinking after playing softball… or at the cabin on a Lake…

    There’s a reason re-runs are occurring in the summer.

  27. AlanSaysYo says: Jan 31, 2012 11:27 AM

    I’m loving the mock outrage at the lack of competition. Really, some of you want to complain that there’s no competition in the Pro Bowl? Is this the first time you’ve seen one? Were you under the impression the players hit hard in last year’s Pro Bowl?

    Stop making noise.

  28. kingjoe1 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:35 AM

    Sorry, I simply don’t beleive these ratings are accurate.

  29. flowadelph says: Jan 31, 2012 11:35 AM

    @jpb12
    Roger Goodell was watching to see if he could think of a reason to fine someone.

  30. chatham10 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:52 AM

    The NFL Pro Bowl Game is a joke and I could not watch it or any other All Star Game, but I did watch the skills of the NHL players the day before the All Star Game and that was great. The NHL skills contest cannot be matched in any other sport, these guys are something else and they put it out there on display.

  31. crise40g says: Jan 31, 2012 11:56 AM

    Football>Baseball/Basketball

    Any football is better than no football. Already dreading the off-season.

  32. sportsdrenched.com says: Jan 31, 2012 12:20 PM

    There’s a reason re-runs are occurring in the summer.

    Exactly. Baseball is my favorite sport, and I don’t even watch the MLB All-Star Game. I was an adult before I ever saw it on TV. Why? Because it’s summer. The sun up until 9pm and you can be playing baseball, or football, or swimming, or anything else outside.

  33. papacrick says: Jan 31, 2012 12:30 PM

    The MLB AS game at least has meaning and players are giving a full effort. It’s the timing that really kills the audience which is a damn shame because it’s actually an exciting game and deserves way more credit than the joke that is the Pro Bowl.

  34. bick54 says: Jan 31, 2012 12:31 PM

    Why not just do a 7 on 7 passing drill game?

    Lineman could compete in tug o war or something like that.

    You might actually get some effort out of them.

  35. stl45fan says: Jan 31, 2012 12:34 PM

    For how long? All of 5 minutes?

  36. august589 says: Jan 31, 2012 12:44 PM

    Geez, guys…if you’re going to have football withdrawal on February 6, subscribe to NFL Game Rewind and re-live the season all over again. Or get a life…

  37. kenny328usa says: Jan 31, 2012 12:45 PM

    So what both games are completely unwatchable

  38. megatronownsyou says: Jan 31, 2012 12:48 PM

    So after I called you on it you went back and amended your article to indicate that you knew MDS has already written something nearly identical, then went on to give your analysis which basically boiled down to “they play the game because people watch it”.
    This is a shining example of shoddy journalism. As they would say on that four letter network “COME ON MAN!”

  39. conjecture101 says: Jan 31, 2012 12:51 PM

    MLB is still way better than the NFL. It’s just that baseball doesn’t cater their league to business investors and casual audiences, they cater to their actual fans.

    This is why Roger Goodell and his handlers compromise the integrity of the game more and more each year, yet continue to increase their revenue.

  40. samoanjungle says: Jan 31, 2012 12:51 PM

    After the first couple of series I almost turned that garbage off. They picked things up in the second half but the game was still a joke.
    If they want this thing to be exciting they need to up the incentives. $25k is nothing to most of these guys. They are more worried about getting hurt than getting $25k.
    Find an auto sponsor like Cadillac. The winner gets a top-of-the-line Escalade.

  41. vegaskid21 says: Jan 31, 2012 12:53 PM

    And if Tebow played, my wife would have watched it.

  42. trbowman says: Jan 31, 2012 1:07 PM

    Well, yeah, baseball is pretty painful.

  43. granadafan says: Jan 31, 2012 1:13 PM

    Our cats were running around and accidentally stepped on the remote when I got up to get a drink druing a commercial break of a show. When I came back, a god-awful game that vaguely resembled football was on. I yelled in horror, and quickly changed the channel, any channel, which happened to be PBS. That was more interesting than the pro bowl, but I was counted by Nielson as a “viewer”.

  44. pack13queens0 says: Jan 31, 2012 1:43 PM

    Of course the Pro Bowl gets higher ratings, football & Nascar are the only 2 sports anybody cares about.

  45. technovike says: Jan 31, 2012 1:57 PM

    So this article is in reality proving how the NFL Pro bowl is losing its draw, if your comparing it to the MLB all star game.

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/01/31/tv-ratings-broadcast-top-25-american-idol-big-bang-theory-top-week-19/118071/
    #8

    yeah the Pro Bowl owns.

    Do a week of NFL Star game shows, i bet more people would tune into that

  46. mnfan1 says: Jan 31, 2012 2:24 PM

    I enjoyed the fact the fans booed

  47. irishnativeson says: Jan 31, 2012 2:59 PM

    Do the “casual fans” of either sport know the MLB game does actually have meaning since it decides home field advantage in the series?

  48. vikinghater says: Jan 31, 2012 3:05 PM

    I wouldn’t walk accross the street to see either of them. Their just popularity contests w/millionaires dancing around acting like Mr Big!!

  49. dobberdubinsky says: Feb 1, 2012 1:52 AM

    Knew it!!! All you hypocrits who constantly post saying that know one cares about the pro-bowl and how you won’t be watching it, watched it. Shut your mouthes and practice what you preach!

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