SBD/July 17, 2014/Media

Fox Gets Highest Rating, Viewership Numbers For MLB All-Star Game Since '10

Fox ended up with a 7.0 fast-national rating and 11.34 million viewers for the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night, marking the best figures for the event since ’10. The increases in both metrics comes after overnight ratings had the event down slightly. The audience in ’14 also marks the first time the All-Star Game has seen consecutive ratings increases since ’93 and ‘94. The event hit at an all-time low in ’12 with a 6.8 rating and 10.9 million viewers. Fox was up 1% and 3%, respectively, from a 6.9 rating and 11.0 million viewers last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

MLB ALL-STAR GAME AUDIENCE TREND ON FOX
YEAR LOCATION RATING VIEWERS (000)
14 Minneapolis 7.0 11,340
13 N.Y. 6.9 11,000
12 K.C. 6.8 10,900
11 Phoenix 6.9 10,973
10 Anaheim 7.5 12,118
09 St. Louis 8.9 14,593
08 N.Y. (15 innings) 8.6 13,374
07 S.F. 8.4 12,530
06 Pittsburgh 9.3 14,424
05 Detroit 8.1 12,330

ON THE RISE
: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes the viewership marked a "small uptick, but not one to ignore." In '11, the game’s audience "fell below 11 million for the first time, so again rising above that line seems to show some progress." If Yankees SS Derek Jeter had "played more than three innings, even more people might have watched," and if he were "not retiring, or if he had not been chosen to play, viewership might have skidded." Jeter’s playing time and the "early scoring came in the first 90 minutes of the broadcast, when viewership peaked between 12.2 million and 12.3 million." After that, as the "action abated and as Jeter stayed in the dugout, the audience fell, to 9.2 million by the final out" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/17).

ANALYZE THIS: In Detroit, Tony Paul wrote Fox analyst Harold Reynolds "went to bat" for Cardinals P Adam Wainwright, who said that he "took it easy on Jeter" in a first inning at-bat. Reynolds "blamed reporters for taking the Cardinals pitcher’s words out of context," but he "made his accusation despite not being present for the early Wainwright interview." That was "probably the lowlight" of Fox’ broadcast, though Reynolds "offered some competition when he argued" Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki, not Angels CF Mike Trout, was the MVP (DETROITNEWS.com, 7/16).

GWYNN OMISSION MISSED THE MARK: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said a "significant mistake" was made in not honoring the late Tony Gwynn during the All-Star Game. Kornheiser: "This is the All-Star Game. He should have been honored as one of the greatest hitters. ... If baseball still wants to make a claim to be the national pasttime, it has to honor the people who have passed on during this year." Wilbon said MLB "blew it by not figuring out a greater way to honor" all the former players that died in the past year, and the league "damn well better get it right next time, because now they're on notice" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/16). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "You can do it like the Emmys and the Oscars and you can just scroll through them, show their pictures. It's very easy, takes two minutes." L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: "Do it like the Oscars do, between innings" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/16). SNY's Chris Carlin said, “He was one of the faces of baseball for his entire career, and yet they did nothing to honor him last night. That’s downright shameful. He was Derek Jeter before Jeter" ("LoudMouths," SNY, 7/16). SNY's Jonas Schwartz: "MLB got it right with Jeter, wrong with Tony Gwynn” (“Daily News Live,” SNY, 7/16).
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