May 30 (Bloomberg) -- The National Football League’s Pro Bowl will be played in Hawaii on Jan. 27, the week before the Super Bowl, even after criticism about the level of play.
The all-star game will be televised on Comcast Corp.’s NBC, the league and its players association announced today in an e-mailed release.
The Pro Bowl drew criticism after last season’s game, when fans in attendance booed a 59-41 victory by the American Football Conference. The event’s future had been under discussion between the league and the union.
“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said in the release. “We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this year that the quality of play in the game had to improve. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his National Football Conference teammates “embarrassed themselves” with a lack of effort in the January loss.
“We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season’s game.
This will be the fourth consecutive Pro Bowl held in the off week before the Super Bowl. January’s game was the most-watched all-star game among the major North American sports leagues during the 2011 season, according to the release.
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