The NFL Pro Bowl is this Sunday, the third consecutive season in which the league’s all-star game will be played a week before the Super Bowl. A lot of fans complain about the boring play in the Pro Bowl, as an exhibition game for a contact sport that carries with it a high risk of injury is typically not conducive to a high-level of performance. Still, last year’s game was the highest rated of any Pro Bowl game in 11-years, with an 8.6 rating.
Blame it on the popularity of the NFL, or blame it on a lack of serious alternatives for sports fans on competing channels, but the Pro Bowl is a ratings winner. Compare last year’s 8.6 rating to that of other sporting events and you might be surprised at how popular it really is.
2010 World Series Game 5- 8.8 rating
2011 World Series Game 1- 8.7 rating
2011 World Series Game 7- 14.7 rating
2011 MLB All-Star Game- 6.9 rating
2011 NBA Finals Game 6- 13.3 rating
2011 NBA All-Star Game- 5.2 rating
The NFL Pro Bowl consistently beats ratings for the all-star games of other major sports, and compares to ratings for all but the most dramatic of championship series games for other sports. That being said, I wouldn’t blame anyone for skipping the Pro Bowl broadcast, especially my fellow San Diego residents who will be able to enjoy 70-degree weather outside.
For those of you who can’t spend a Sunday without watching some football (and I’m not judging you), Pro Bowl coverage starts at 4 PM PT on NBC, with Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock, and Doug Flutie (seriously?) calling the action from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In other NFL news, the NFL Network recently announced plans to provide over 100-hours of live coverage from Super Bowl XVLI (that stands for 46) this week in Indianapolis. Highlights from the coming week include over four-hours of exclusive coverage of Media Day on Tuesday (starting at 6 AM PT), the Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year press conference featuring nominee Philip Rivers on Friday (6 AM PT), the Hall Of Fame announcement show on Saturday (2:30 PM PT), plus extended coverage of all of the NFL Network’s normal programming, as well as extensive pre-game and post-game coverage before and after the Super Bowl next Sunday.
Time Warner Cable subscribers can stick to ESPN, which will also have wall-to-wall coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.
Pass The Remote
-Hoping to go into a sports-induced coma on Sunday? Before the Pro Bowl, you can watch coverage of the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open from Torrey Pines, starting at 12 PM PT on CBS.
-If golf isn’t your think, the NBA returns to the ABC network this Sunday with the Chicago Bulls facing the Miami Heat in Chicago. Tip-off is at 12:30 PM PT.
-The local sports tweet of the week comes from Dallas Latos, wife of former-Padre pitcher Matt Latos. Last Sunday, Dallas tweeted, “Take this how you want but driving past Petco park feels a lot like accidentally running into an ex boyfriend.” I think that probably explains the feeling after being traded pretty well.
Did you catch an interesting sports media moment? Email it to me at email@example.com, and follow me on Twitter: @JSWilliams75
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