Viewership Hits All-Time Low For MLB's All-Star; HR Derby Up
Fox drew 8.14 million viewers for the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday night, marking the game’s lowest audience on record. The previous low was 8.69 million viewers last year. Two years ago, the game drew 9.28 million viewers. While a record low again, the game still delivered Fox a win among all nets in primetime. Meanwhile, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to draw 6.2 million viewers for the Home Run Derby on Monday night, up from 5.9 million viewers last year. Putting the Statcast version of the event on ESPN2 vs. ESPNews made the difference this year. For the main version, ESPN was actually down 4%. But the Statcast on ESPN2 (849,000 viewers) was up 157% from 330,000 viewers on ESPNews last year. While up from ’18, the Derby was down sharply from 8.2 million viewers on ESPN two years ago, when Aaron Judge won the event (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
UNIQUE EXPERIENCE: Fox' Joe Buck said it was "surreal" to talk to mic'd up players mid-game during the net's All-Star broadcast. Buck: "I've been around the game, literally, my entire life for 50 years. I've never experienced or heard anything like that." That level of interaction between players and broadcasters is not coming to regular season games anytime soon. As an exhibition, MLB's All-Star Game is tailor made for this type of production experiment, which provided access that made viewers pay attention. Before the game, Buck approached Brewers RF Christian Yelich and Dodgers RF Cody Bellinger separately and promised that he would pick his spots on when to interact with them. They both told Buck that he could talk to them anytime (John Ourand, SBJ Media).