The Scouting Combine doesn’t really move the Nielsen meter

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The XFL 3.0 has seen a much smaller TV audience than the resurrected league generated three years ago. However, the XFL still did much better when it comes to gathering eyeballs than the pro football pajama party that happened in Indianapolis.

Lost in all the hype regarding the Scouting Combine is the fact that, as a TV show, it’s the least watched NFL event. By far.

Via, the event averaged only 219,000 viewers on NFL Network. And that was a 26-percent increase from 2022. The best day was Saturday, when 329,000 tuned in to watch the quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends work out.

The XFL averaged 571,000 viewers for its games televised last weekend. While disappointing relative to XFL 2020, those numbers more than doubled one of the NFL’s biggest offseason tentpole events.

It’s still a good audience, especially since it’s not actual football. But it puts things in perspective, especially at a time when the NFL continues to ponder moving the Combine to other cities. The simple truth may be that, unlike the draft itself (or, you know, actual games), the Combine simply isn’t the big deal the league thinks it is.

18 responses to “The Scouting Combine doesn’t really move the Nielsen meter

  1. This is why you leave it where it is.
    It’s not the big money maker that some on here think it is.

  2. ‘the Combine simply isn’t the big deal the league thinks it is’

    Neither is the XFL.

  3. To compare apples to apples, how many people are watching XFL prospects work out at a local high school in preparation for the XFL draft? I think that number is zero.

  4. How many people typically watch the NFL network in the afternoon during the off season,
    Is this an increase ?

  5. It is all relative. What are the viewership numbers for NHL games? The combine is a big deal, at least to “loving anything NFL” degenerates like myself.

  6. The allure of the Combine isn’t necessarily the actual workouts. Its that we’re talking about football in February when the season doesn’t start until September. The combine stirs draft and free agency talk and NFL fans want that. I’m not sure why some football outlets keep poo-pooing the Combine every year.

  7. Hard to believe the XFL more than doubled combine viewership. Seems like it’s doing really well

  8. Pretty soon you’ll be able to gamble on it — who will run the fastest 40 times, who will bench the most etc…then people will watch.

  9. I’m a massive fan. Watch a ton of preseason. Never miss the draft. But can’t bring myself to tune in to the snoozefest that is the combine.

  10. Who cares. Some people who want to watch it, CAN watch it. That’s the point.

    I’m not about to gatekeep what NFL football fans should and should not be able to watch. People are FREE TO CHOOSE.

  11. If I’m home, it’s on my TV. I’m not necessarily watching it perse bur it IS on. But then again I’m an NFL slappy, so there is that.

  12. Once the combine was done and the next bit of programming came on – what was that viewership? The 77th replay of a past game?

    The average NFL fan doesn’t care about the rookies until their team drafts one.

    I assume the % of NFL fans that actually know these players and do their own evaluation enjoyed watching the combine. But it it not meant to be exciting or entertaining like a real game.

  13. I had the combine on Saturday and a little bit of Sunday because there wasn’t anything else on. I don’t care about the drills or the 40s but I did appreciate hearing the analysts talk about the prospects and football in general. It makes the draft more interesting if you’ve at least heard something about the players that are getting picked.

  14. In the real TV world, when a show gets low ratings, it gets canceled.
    Since the NFL has its own network, it’s going to keep trotting out failing product because they can’t admit that the shelf life of the televised combine has worn out.

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