The DuMont Television Network obtained rights to the 1955 game from the Los Angeles Newspaper Charities just one week before the game date. As they had trouble lining up affiliates to cover the game on such short notice, the telecast was cancelled.
Both NBC and CBS passed on the rights to the 1957 game. ABC apparently considered televising the game, but could not gain enough clearance of affiliates to make a telecast feasible. So for the third straight year, there was no telecast.
Although Hawaii does not have an NFL team of its own, the Pro Bowl games played there from 1980–2009 were still subject to the NFL's blackout policies, requiring the game to be blacked out within the state of Hawaii if all seats were not sold out by the specified 72-hour deadline.
In 2004–2006, ABC (who by the early 2000s, had been suffering through several years of dismal ratings) sold its rights to the Pro Bowl (which had been part of the Monday Night Football package since 1995) to sister network ESPN. In those years, the ESPN Sunday Night Football crew covered the game. Prior to the game being moved to ESPN, ABC considered moving the game to Monday night.
Under the eight year television contract beginning in 2006, the network that broadcasts the Super Bowl would also get the Pro Bowl. Typically, CBS and Fox would utilize their "B" or "Number 2" broadcasting crew.
CBS gave up the rights to the 2013 game to NBC.
ESPN currently has the rights to air the Pro Bowl, It began in 2015. Starting in 2018, the game will be simulcast on broadcast network ABC, marking the return of the Pro Bowl to network television for the first time since 2013, while being ABC’s first telecast since 2003.  In 2019, ESPN's telecast of the Pro Bowl also aired on children's channel Disney XD.
The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). From the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC). From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains (who are each in the Hall of Fame), instead of selecting players from each conference. The players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game.Unlike most major sports leagues, which hold their all-star games roughly midway through their regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played around the end of the NFL season. The first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game (between 1939 and 1942, the NFL experimented with all-star games pitting the league's champion against a team of all-stars). Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was usually held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate.
For years, the game has suffered from lack of interest due to perceived low quality, with observers and commentators expressing their disfavor with it in its current state. It draws lower TV ratings than regular season NFL games, although the game draws similar ratings to other major all-star games, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players. The Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight".Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years (2010 and 2015). On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league's ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant.
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