With the 80th MLB All-Star Game preparing to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, television will witness its 58th airing of the Mid-Summer Classic.
It is also it’s the first All-Star Game played in St. Louis since 1966.
(Select the image provided to see the “Tale of the Tape” between the two All-Star Games)
Here's some historical facts as you prepare to take it in:
- NBC showed the first 25 years of the event from 1950 to 1975 before ABC showed the game on July 17, 1976 from Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Broadcasters for that game? Bob Prince, Bob Uecker, and Warner Wolf who saw the National League win 7-1
- The lone broadcaster for the first televised All-Star Game? Jack Brickhouse for NBC who saw the National League win 4-3.
- From 1959 to 1975 Curt Gowdy was part of 14 broadcast teams
- The first time Al Michaels was part of the broadcast team for the All-Star Game was 1978 at Jack Murphy Stadium with Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, and Don Drysdale
- Jack or Joe Buck have been part of 13 different broadcasts of the Mid-Summer Classic (Jack – 1990-91, Joe – 1997, 1999, 2001-2009)
- Two All-Star games have been broadcasted in August: 1959 from the LA Memorial Coliseum (8/3) and 1981 from Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium (8/9)
- An MLB All-Star Game has not rated higher than double-digits (11 with a 19 share) since the 2001 game at Seattle’s Safeco Field. In that game, Alex Rodriguez stepped aside at third base for Cal Ripken, Jr. in his final ASG. Ripken was also named the game’s MVP.
- The last time an ASG rated above a 20 (20.4 with a 36 share) was July 12, 1988 at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium (AL won 2-1 with Al Michaels, Tim McCarver, and Jim Palmer calling the game for ABC)
- The last time Vin Scully called an All-Star Game was 1989 at Anaheim Stadium for NBC (AL won 5-3) with Tom Seaver.
- The first ASG Vin Scully broadcast was 1959 from the LA Coliseum on August 3 as the number 2 to Mel Allen
- Most unique broadcast team for the All-Star Game? The 1964 game from Shea Stadium. NBC had Lindsay Nelson and Buddy Blattner in the booth, two of which never broadcasted the game together again (it was Nelson’s only game, and Blattner only did one other game, 1967 with Curt Gowdy, "Pee Wee" Reese, and Sandy Koufax for NBC)
- Howard Cosell did three All-Star Games for ABC (1978 from Jack Murphy Stadium, 1980 from Dodger Stadium, and 1982 from Montreal’s Olympic Stadium)
- Ratings for the first All-Star Game in 1950? 16.5 with a 65 share
- Ratings for last year’s All-Star Game from Yankee Stadium? 9.3 with a 16 share
- Showing just how different television viewing was back then (a captured audience with little to no channel options) the highest rated All-Star Game in broadcast history took place in 1951 from Briggs Stadium in Detroit, a 27.3 with an 89 share.
- According to FOX, the 2008 MLB All-Star Game was witnessed by 33.2 million total viewers (people age 2+ watching all or part), posting a 9.3/16 national household rating/share. It was the biggest total audience for an MLB All-Star Game since ‘99 (36.9 million), and ties (2006) as the highest-rated All-Star Game since ‘03 (9.5/17).
- The Mid-Summer Classic has been the highest-rated All-Star Game for 50+ years.
- According to FOX, in the 2000s, the average MLB All-Star Game has rated +28% higher than average prime-time ratings generated by ABC, CBS and NBC. In the ‘90s, the gap was +27%; in the ‘80s, it was +26%; and in the ‘70s it was +30%.
- The 2008 MLB All-Star Game out-rated the 2009 NBA Finals by 11% (9.3 vs. 8.4), and only Game 4 posted a rating higher than last year’s MLB All-Star Game (9.4).
Select Read more to see the complete broadcast ratings history for the MLB All-Star Game leading up to tonight’s game, along with links to details such as President Obama throwing out the first pitch, a video of all the living presidents before the game, final vote counts for the 2009 All-Star Game, and much more
Select the image above to see a complete
history of the MLB All-Star Game broadcast
OTHER 2009 MLB ALL-STAR GAME RELATED STORIES ON THE BIZ OF BASEBALL
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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