Whether it was having President Obama throw out the first pitch, or fans simply looking to catch their favorite players, the 80th MLB All-Star Game on FOX will go in the books as a mixed bag with ratings dipping and total viewership increasing.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the game pulled an 8.9/15 final rating, a drop of 4.3 percent when compared to last yearâs 9.3/16 rating. However, in terms of total viewers, FOX Sports reports that the game pulled in an average of 14.6 million, up from an average of 14.5 million viewers (up 0.7%) for the first nine innings of last yearâs 15-inning marathon from Yankee Stadium.
Viewing peaked after 11pm at a 9.3/17 (15.0 mill.) as Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera squared off for the final out of the game.
Although the All-Star Game rating was down slightly versus last year, which was played in New York, a far larger market, last night's 8.9/15 surpassed the rating for the 2007 game in San Francisco (8.4/15), and also beat recent All-Star Games in Detroit (8.1/14 in 2005) and Houston (8.8/15 in 2004).
In terms of total viewers, FOX pulled in 33.6 million across the game, making it the most-watched Midsummer Classic since 1999 (36.9 million).
The pre-game show featuring President Obamaâs first pitch, as well as a Presidential address by Obama, and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter earned a 7.0/13 (11.2 million viewers), up 3 percent over last year's 6.8/13. The show ties the highest average audience for an All-Star pre-game show in seven years (since 12.4 mill. in 2002) and was the highest-rated All-Star pre-game since 2004's 7.1/13.
Vote in our poll to the right: How Do You Rate FOX's Coverage of the MLB All-Star Game?
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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