Professional football is so powerful in the United States that even the Pro Bowl manages to perform quite well in terms of viewership. But the NFL knows that the game itself sucks and the league continues to consider ways to tweak it in order to improve on those ratings. The latest gimmicky consideration comes via NFL Network's Albert Breer per Pro Football Talk:
Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that the league is considering elements that would make the game more like a game show, such as having incentives paid out during the game. Breer said the league would like to “make it so every single minute of the game has some sort of thing that’s going to keep fans interested and engaged.”
Breer added that the NFL doesn’t “feel the need to keep the integrity of what a normal football game is.”
We had a clue changes were coming back in March, when commissioner Roger Goodell said that some consideration had been given to having team captains select the rosters. It doesn't look as though that'll be the case this upcoming year, but it seems that would go hand-in-hand with a new game show feel.
The question is whether this is more or less likely to cause on-the-fence fans to tune in. I cover this league for a living and even I don't watch the Pro Bowl, but something novel like this might at least pique my interest as long as it doesn't cross into the absurd. I believe the skills competition is the best route to go here. Mic up all of the players involved and have them battle it out in an array of drills. Less of an injury risk, more fun for them, and probably more entertaining for us.