SBD/January 28, 2013/Media

Pro Bowl Gives NBC Likely Primetime Win, But Overnight Down From Recent Years

NBC earned a 7.7 overnight Nielsen rating for the NFL Pro Bowl last night, a figure which is expected to give the net a win among all nets in primetime, but down from the game's overnights in recent years. NBC earned a 7.9 overnight for last year's contest and Fox earned an 8.6 rating in '11 (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). NBC's Al Michaels during last night's game said, “The Pro Bowl takes a lot of grief. A lot of fans say, ‘It’s a piece of crap, we don’t want to watch it, who cares?’ Look at the ratings. You think the NBA All-Star Game would take this rating? The NHL, MLB?” NBC's Cris Collinsworth added, “I don’t know if we’re ever going to get to the saturation point of the NFL. Everywhere you go there’s another show” ("NFL Pro Bowl," NBC, 1/27). ESPN’s J.A. Adande said, “People have shown they’ll watch anything NFL-related. More people watch the Draft than watch NBA playoff games, so the NFL brand will bring people to the TV sets.” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan added, “Ratings, ratings, ratings equals money, money, money. They have to keep it on.” But columnist Kevin Blackistone said the NFL “can ignore the ratings” because “it’s one game out of the year." Blackistone: "The NFL has been brilliant marketing-wise. They’ve turned their league into a 24/7, 365-day television event. They don’t need the Pro Bowl” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 1/25). CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb said, “It should go away, but people watch. ... As long as people watch, it’s not going away.” CBS Sports Network’s Allie La Force added, “Last year, which was considered by many the worst Pro Bowl in history, still had more viewers than the World Series” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 1/25).
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