SBD/July 16, 2014/Media

MLB All-Star Game Overnight Rating Down Slightly, But Fox Wins Primetime

Discussion surrounding Jeter consumed much of Fox' pregame coverage

Fox earned an 8.0 overnight rating for the MLB All-Star Game yesterday from 8:15-11:30pm ET, giving the net a primetime win among all nets. The 8.0 rating is down slightly from an 8.1 rating the net earned the past two years. Coverage began with a 7.6 rating at 8:15pm and peaked during the 8:30pm quarter-hour with an 8.7 rating while retiring Yankees SS Derek Jeter was still in the game. The game finished with a 6.1 rating in the 11:15pm quarter-hour. Host market Minneapolis-St. Paul led the way with a 16.6 local rating, followed by Detroit (15.1) and St. Louis (14.3). Pittsburgh ranked fourth with a 12.4 local rating, which was the market’s best All-Star Game figure since it hosted the event in ’06. N.Y. ranked sixth with an 11.9 local rating, up from an 11.3 when Citi Field hosted the event last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP
: On Long Island, Neil Best writes Jeter "consumed almost the entirety of its pregame coverage before player introductions." The highlight of the "Jeter-fest was video from the clubhouse in which he addressed his teammates." However, Jeter declined Fox' invitation to "wear a microphone during the game" (NEWSDAY, 7/16). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes for Jeter, a man who has "kept his clubhouse interaction with teammates private, it was a highlight seeing him address the AL All-Stars in the clubhouse." The "introspective highlight ... was a one-of-a-kind thing." It was as if Jeter "wanted to chronicle the moment, have a video souvenir to remember it by." Meanwhile, when Idina Menzel sang Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young" prior to the game, Fox "resisted the temptation of having its camera linger on Jeter" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16). In Minneapolis, Neal Justin writes Fox' coverage of the game "was far from perfect," as the net "opened with a clumsy comedy piece in which Jeter kicked" Joe Buck out of the locker room. Still, Target Field "looked terrific" on the broadcast. Camera work "was tight -- sometimes too tight." Fox "was blessed with a dramatic game and picturesque weather." Give it credit for "keeping errors to a minimum" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/16).

ADDRESSING CONTROVERSY: The N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman notes Fox' Ken Rosenthal during the game reported that Cardinals P Adam Wainwright had indicated he "threw Jeter a couple of first-inning pitches 'he could handle.'" Jeter doubled in that at-bat, and Wainwright's comments "first started making the rounds on social media around the fourth inning, leading him to an explanatory in-game interview with Erin Andrews." Wainwright: "Sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way." Andrews asked, "Don't you love social media?" Wainwright: "No. I don't love social media" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16).

A GLARING OMISSION: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk writes the broadcast was "notable for one glaring omission: Last month's death of Tony Gwynn at age 54 went unmentioned, reflecting poorly" on both MLB and Fox. Kaduk: "Not even a simple mention on Fox's broadcast or a highlight reel heading into the break." While a Gwynn tribute "did appear on the pregame show" on FS1, there was "nothing on the pregame broadcast on the main network or during the game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/16). In San Diego, Matthew Hall notes Gwynn fans "took to Twitter in increasing intensity and outrage in the waning moments of the game -- and in its immediate aftermath -- to voice their objections" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/16). NBCSPORTS.com's Matthew Pouliot writes why MLB "did nothing at all is a question that needs to be asked" of Commissioner Bud Selig the "next time he’s interviewed" (NBCSPORTS.com, 7/16).

THE NAME GAME: In N.Y., John DeMarzo notes CBS News' official Twitter account "mistakenly identified Derek Jeter as the late actor Michael Jeter when tweeting an article about him being given a standing ovation Tuesday night, saying, 'Michael Jeter takes bow at his final All-Star Game.'" Michael Jeter died in '03 (N.Y. POST, 7/16). Within a matter of minutes of the mistake, social media sites "were flooded with messages and pictures of Michael Jeter, leading the actor's name to trend worldwide" (L.A. TIMES, 7/16).

A MODERN DAY CARNAC: MLB Network's Greg Amsinger yesterday proved to be something of a seer when he accurately predicted what would happen in Angels CF Mike Trout's first at-bat last night. Trout appeared on MLB Net's set during the "All-Star Red Carpet Show” prior to the game, and Amsinger said, "That is going to be awesome when you drive in Derek Jeter in his final All-Star Game. That’s going to be so cool. He’s going to be at second base, you’re going to hit a rope down the line, you’ll end up at third. He’ll tip his cap to you” (“MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show,” MLB Network, 7/15). Trout tripled during the first inning to right field, scoring Jeter, who had doubled to lead off the inning (THE DAILY).

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY
: ESPN finished with a 3.4 final rating and 5.4 million viewers for the rain-delayed Home Run Derby on Monday night, marking the lowest viewership for the event since ’03. The hour-long delay led to a 19% viewership drop compared to ’13. Despite the drop, the Derby was still ESPN's best primetime telecast since Heat-Pacers NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 got 6.9 million viewers. Meanwhile, ESPN Deportes saw its best rating and second-best viewership for the Derby on record for the Spanish-language net (Karp).

MLB HOME RUN DERBY AUDIENCE TREND ON ESPN
YEAR
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'14*
3.4
5,400
'13
4.1
6,651
'12
4.1
6,882
'11
4.0
6,686
'10
4.0
6,418
'09
5.1
8,250
'08
5.5
9,116
'07
4.3
6,778
'06
4.4
6,787
'05
4.1
6,330
'04
4.7
7,713
'03
3.5
5,200
     

NOTE: * = '14 event was delayed by an hour due to rain.

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