The audience for Sunday night's Pro Bowl deflated significantly from recent telecasts of the NFL All-Star game.
ESPN's coverage of the affair from the University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, drew 8.8 millilon viewers, according to Nielsen data.
That delivery made the Pro Bowl -- under the now hybrid selection process, Team Irvin (former Dallas Cowboy and now NFL Network analyst Michael) beat Team Carter (the Hall of Famer and ESPN commentator Cris) 32-28 -- the top telecast in cable by a wide margin and surpassed the audience for many top-level sporting events, The average viewership, though, declined 22.8% from the 11.4 million who watched the 2014 iteration on NBC.
The performance continued the Pro Bowl's downward trend from the 12.2 million and 12.5 million watchers who tuned in on the Peacock in 2013 and 2012, respectively and the 13.4 million viewers for Fox in 2011.
The last time ESPN, which has the rights to the game as part of its eight-year NFL deal, aired the Pro Bowl, it tackled 12.3 milion watchers in 2010.