THE VOTES ARE IN: 80TH ALL-STAR GAME A LANDSLIDE WINNER FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL & FOX SPORTS
President Obama’s Appearance Coupled With Exciting 4-3 AL Victory Results In
Most-Watched Midsummer Classic since 1999;
Retains Status as Television Event of the summer
St. Louis — The 80th MLB ALL-STAR GAME, an exciting 4-3 American League victory, was watched by an impressive total of 33.6 million viewers, supplanting last year’s Yankee Stadium extravaganza as the most-watched Midsummer Classic since 1999 (36.9 million), according to fast national figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. It is the fourth consecutive year the All-Star Game’s total audience has risen year to year, and the sixth time it’s risen in the seven years since the rule tying home field advantage in the World Series to the winning league was adopted. Total viewing of last night’s game was +13% higher than the same figure in 2002, the last year before the adoption of the World Series home field rule (33.6 million vs. 29.7 in 2002).
“Anyone who can figure a batting average knows that going six for seven is pretty good, and we’ve seen the All-Star Game’s audience rise six times in the seven years since the outcome determines home field advantage in the World Series,” said FOX Sports President Ed Goren. “The All-Star Game is the foundation for the highest-rated night on any network since the AMERICAN IDOL finale in May and this audience reaffirms the All-Star Game as the television event of the summer. We exceeded our expectations and our advertisers are extremely happy.”
- The 2009 MLB ALL-STAR GAME also soared to a multi-year high in average viewership on FOX garnering 14.6 million viewers, the best for the All-Star Game since 2002 (14.7 mill.).
- Last night’s game saw viewership figures rise despite having a 4% decline in the year-to-year household rating (8.9/15 vs. 9.3/16). Typically, when a program’s rating is lower, but viewership is up, more viewers are watching per home. The number of viewers per home for this year’s game was up +3% over last year, which suggests that last night’s live appearance by President Barack Obama resulted in more groups and families watching the game together.
- 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).
- Last night’s PEPSI PRE-GAME SHOW, which featured President Obama’s live appearance, as well as taped messages from four former Presidents, earned a 7.0/13 (11.2 million viewers), up +3% 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.
- FOX’s game and pre-game combined to average an 8.4/15 (13.8 mill. avg, viewers) nationally in prime time last night, the highest-rated night on any network since FOX’s AMERICAN IDOL finale in May.
- FOX won the prime time race handily with an average audience of 13.8 million beating second-place NBC by +49% (9.2 mill.). Among Adults 18-49 FOX’s 4.3 prime time average matched the combined ratings of NBC (2.5) and CBS (1.8). The All-Star Game also ranks as the top-rated program of the summer among Men 25-54 (6.4) and Adults 25-54 (4.9).
- In a good sign for baseball’s health among younger audiences, ratings hit multi-year highs in most younger, more valuable demos. Year to year, viewing was up +4% for Men 18-34 (5.4 vs. 5.2), +2% for M18-49 (6.1 vs. 6.0), and +1% for M25-54 (7.0 vs. 6.9), which were all three-year highs. Viewing was flat among Adults 18-34 (4.1), but up +4% for A18-49 (4.7 vs. 4.5) and +2% on A25-54 (5.3 vs. 5.2), both five-yearhighs.
- Last night’s 8.9/15 beats the five-game average of the 2009 NBA Finals (8.4/15), marking the fourth straight year that the All-Star Game has beaten or tied the NBA’s final round. The last such four-year stretch ran from 1989 to1992. The MLB All-Star Game has also topped the final round of this year’s Master’s (8.3/20) and the 2009 Kentucky Derby (7.3/18). The All-Star Game also easily affirmed its status as far and away the #1 all-star event in sports, beating this year’s Pro Bowl by +65% (5.4/10).
- Viewing peaked after 11pm at a 9.3/17 (15.0 mill.) as Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera combined to close the door on the junior circuit’s 13th straight All-Star Game without a loss. Additional quarter hour ratings are not yet available.
- Host city St. Louis led all local markets with an astounding 37.0/56, the highest host city rating since Seattle scored a 38.1 in 2001. St. Louis was followed by Milwaukee, 17.9/29; Philadelphia, 16.4/26; Detroit, 15.7/25; Boston, 15.5/27; Minneapolis, 14.2/23; and Providence, 13.2/21. Chicago & Kansas City each registered a 12.8/21 and New York, last year’s host city, rounded out the top 10 with a 12.3/20.