Fewer and fewer people are watching the Pro Bowl.
The NFL’s all-star game drew a 4.6 overnight rating for ESPN, which was the sixth straight decline. The Pro Bowl got a 5.0 last year, a 5.6 in 2015, a 6.7 in 2014, a 7.7 in 2013, a 7.9 in 2012 and an 8.6 in 2011.
The flip side is, that rating is still far better than the vast majority of programming draws. The Pro Bowl drew more than twice as many viewers as the Kentucky-Kansas college basketball game ESPN aired on Saturday, and that game was ESPN’s most-watched college basketball game of the season.
So while the Pro Bowl continues to disappoint from the NFL’s perspective, it also continues to succeed compared to the vast majority of programming on television. Throw in the promising start for the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, and the league and its TV partner ESPN surely see Pro Bowl week as something to build on, not something to scrap.