HomeSportsNFLPro Bowl Skills Competition Delivers Terrible Ratings for ESPN

Pro Bowl Skills Competition Delivers Terrible Ratings for ESPN

by Barkley Truax
Pro Bowl
(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Fewer people are watching the Pro Bowl than ever.

The NFL’s new format for the all-star festivities has turned into a group of skills competitions culminating in an AFC vs. NFC flag football game. The newly-dubbed Pro Bowl Games began on Thursday featuring a number of different events and drew an average of 1.063 million viewers on ESPN, per ShowBuzz Daily.

That wasn’t even the most-viewed sporting event of that night. The NBA matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers on TNT averaged 1.165 million viewers for the night’s biggest sports audience.

Compared to the most recent professional sports all-star games, the NFL was outdrawn by the NHL (1.086 million), NBA (4.236 million), and MLB (6.019 million). Obviously not the numbers the NFL was hoping for.

Thursday’s slate of events included: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive
Precision Passing and the first round of Best Catch. The AFC leads the NFC 9-3 overall. You can find the results of Thursday’s events here.

On Sunday, the finals of Best Catch and new events like Gridiron Gauntlet, Move the Chains and Kick Tac Toe are all on tap before Sunday’s main attraction — the new Pro Bowl flag football game which will kick off at 3 p.m. ET.

Who’s Coaching the Pro Bowl?

One of the NFL’s biggest selling points of this year’s Pro Bowl was the fact that Peyton and Eli Manning would be the coaches of each conference. They also have respective offensive and defensive coordinators.

Alongside Peyton Manning and the AFC, Ray Lewis will be the defensive coordinator. Diana Flores, the QB of the Mexico Women’s Flag Football Team holds the role of offensive coordinator. For Eli Manning’s NFC group, DeMarcus Ware was chosen as DC. For OC, US Women’s Flag Football Team QB Vanita Crouch will be calling plays.