The NFL has developed into an incredibly popular, nearly year-round entity, so it should surprise nobody that it continues to dominate the television ratings. Sports Media Watch released a list of the Top 50 most-watched sporting events of the first half of 2012 and the NFL has the top twelve.
It is not surprising the NFL playoffs dominated the top of the rankings. The only playoff game not in that group was the AFC wild card contest between the Bengals and Texans, which ranked 14th, one spot behind the BCS National Title game. Two regular season contests in week 17 finished ahead of the BCS title game.
The craziest entry though, has to be the Pro Bowl ranking No. 31. Arguably the worst All Star game of the four major sports finished ahead of six of the seven Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals games. That continues to blow my mind, even six months later. Is it because it came the week before the Super Bowl? I'd be curious to see the ratings if they stuck with a post-Super Bowl game.
Speaking of crazy ratings, even the NFL Combine does impressive numbers. The Combine drew a total of 6.51 million viewers for the week and and average of 450,000 viewers on Sunday for the live coverage of quarterback drills. The audience on NFL.com and NFL Mobile jumped 37%.
Imagine if the NFL was willing to provide more game-day broadcasts online? I'd imagine most people are home or at a bar to watch games, but for folks that have to work or be away from a television, having an online option would be huge. You can listen to radio broadcasts through NFL Mobile, but imagine being able to watch games on your phone? I have to think the ratings would be all the more ridiculous on a regular basis. But that kind of thinking is just crazy talk!