Shocking: Nobody Watched The Pro Bowl’s Skills Competition

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In what would qualify as a shocker to absolutely nobody, the NFL’s Pro Bowl skills competition’s ratings are in, and they stink.

The NFL has tried repurposing, reimagining, reinventing – whatever word choice you want to use, the annual Pro Bowl after coming to the realization that nobody, including the players themselves, actually cared about it.

So this year, they decided to nix the entire Pro Bowl Game… and turn it into the Pro Bowl Games. A collection of various events all culminating in a flag football game.

But the initial ratings are in from Thursday night’s skills competition, and they’re not ideal.

Just 1.063 million viewers tuned into ESPN at 7pm ET to watch the broadcast. That’s so bad that the highlight and interview show “Pro Bowl Celebration” from 2021 actually had more viewers.

It also rated lower than the other major sports leagues’ All-Star events from last year.


Last night, the NHL had their skills competition, so it will be interesting to see if more people tuned into that. I know I personally knew that the NHL competition was last night, and I had ZERO idea that the Pro Bowl Games were even happening this weekend. Also, apparently they’re in Las Vegas and not Hawaii?

The NFL had to do something regarding their Pro Bowl. Nobody cared about it for a variety of reasons. But the main one is pretty simple – it’s tough to force players to play in it when football can come with obscure injuries from the nature of it. The last thing you need is a running back tearing an ACL during the pointless game.

Also, as we continue to be driven by a social-media highlight-focused world, the aura of seeing certain players for the first time doesn’t draw like it used to. With the NFL extending its regular season schedule, fans can see some of the biggest stars nearly every two years – sometimes more.

It’s also happening in baseball and their All-Star game. With interleague play now a routine happening, the importance of their ASG doesn’t hold the same weight, besides for a few players that want home field advantage in the World Series, which is awarded to the winner.

It’ll be interesting to see how, or even if the Pro Bowl can recover. Last year, they drew their lowest ratings in over a decade and a half.

The Pro Bowl has essentially become the equivalent of the MTV Music Awards – nobody gives a damn.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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