NFL Pro Bowl 2024 Feb 2, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; The Pro Bowl Games logo on the Camping World Stadium facade. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Viewership for All-Star Games across most sports has been freefalling over the last decade or so, and two more negative data points were added to the list this weekend.

On Sunday, the NFL’s Pro Bowl Games averaged just 5.793 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, Disney XD, and ESPN Deportes. The only Pro Bowl with fewer viewers was 2021’s virtual “Pro Bowl Celebration,” which featured no football being played.

Last year, the NFL debuted the Pro Bowl Games, turning the annual game into a flag football contest. It averaged 6.28 million viewers.

Viewership for the NHL’s All-Star Game also ticked back in its third year on ABC as part of the league’s current media rights deals with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery. The game averaged 1.40 million viewers on Sunday, a slight decline from 1.497 million last year. It clocks in as the second-least-watched NHL All-Star Game on record, ahead of just 2022 (which averaged only 1.146 million viewers).

It was a mixed bag for each league’s respective skills contest during the week The NFL’s Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on Thursday night averaged 1.144 million viewers on ESPN, the most-watched edition of the event since 2018. On Friday, the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition averaged 823,000 viewers on ESPN, the least-watched edition since 2019.

Over the last year, we’ve seen a record low for the Pro Bowl, a near-record-low for the NHL All-Star Game, and record lows in 2023 for both the NBA and MLB All-Star Games. These declines aren’t blips on the radar, and they’re not concentrated in one sport. Fans simply don’t care all that much about All-Star Games anymore (and they haven’t for quite a while), and format changes won’t lead to a spike in viewership. The trends aren’t great, and how to reverse (or even just stop) those trends is a big question for each sport to answer going forward.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.