More than 6 million people watched 2012 NFL Scouting Combine



It is extremely boring, there’s no doubt. It’s nothing more than watching guys in tights run sprints and do some measured jumps on a football field. It’s colloquially being referred to as the “Spandex Super Bowl.” Yet for the second consecutive year more than 6.5 million viewers tuned in to NFL Network’s exclusive coverage of the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour (6.51 million in 2012, 6.55 million in 2011).

Those totals represent large jumps over 2010 (5.2 million viewers) and 2007 (3.7 million viewers), according to The Nielsen Company.

America must really crave football is they’re willing to watch this.

I’m an NFL mock draftnik and I still can’t consume the combine as anything more than background noise. And it’s dull background noise. I do really care about the numbers that result from it, that’s quite interesting to me, I just don’t need to see the numbers being made. I tend to agree with the growing contingent of people who believe the true highlight is Rich Eisen running his timed 40 yard dash every year.

But the numbers seem to disagree with me.

Sunday’s seven hours of live coverage featuring quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers was the most-watched Combine telecast of all-time with an average of 450,000 viewers up 11 percent from last year (406,000) and up 62 percent from 2010 (277,000).

The audience on the NFL’s digital media properties including, NFL Mobile Only From Verizon and other mobile outlets jumped 37 percent for full Combine coverage with unique users from Sunday’s workout coverage spiking 39 percent.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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