The freefall in ratings for MLB's All-Star Game continued this year, as last night's game drew an 8.1 overnight. That is tied for the second-lowest overnight with last year's game, which also drew an 8.1 overnight. The low was set in 2011 after a dismal 7.9.
This is clearly not what MLB wanted to hear, especially after the Home Run Derby on Monday initially was slightly up before finishing flat in ratings and slightly down in viewership from a year ago. Ian Casselberry of The Outside Corner wondered why fewer fans were watching the game in recent years, and MLB needs to take a serious look at how to improve the overall appeal of the midsummer classic.
If MLB wants a silver lining, they can take solace in the fact that their All-Star Game drew a higher overnight this year than both the NBA All-Star Game (5.9) and NFL Pro Bowl (7.7), but the final numbers will likely be lower than the NFL. MLB has seen the ratings for their All-Star Game fall in the toilet over the last five years, despite it being the longest running and most revered of all the major sports. This latest poor performance is absolutely not a good sign going forward. The fact that the overnight stayed flat from last year despite taking place in New York is a really bad sign, as the 2008 game at Yankee Stadium picked up an 11.0 overnight (before the game went into extra innings).
UPDATE: the final numbers are in, and they're not pretty. That 8.1 overnight plummeted to a 6.9 final rating and 11.0 million viewers. a hair up from last year's record low 6.8 rating and 10.9 million viewers and flat with 2011. And this is where we are: where a 1% increase over one year and flat trends over two years are considered improvements.
People don't like 5 hour games with mouthbreathing announcers, 30 pitching changes and Neil Diamond. Especially Neil Diamond.
All Star games for any league have passed their Best Before date. While I agree that the baseball version is the closest one to a real actual game, the fact is, fans of a sport now look on the almost week-long break as more of a nuisance than something to look forward to. However, all star games are here to stay because it's a huge boon to a league's advertisers and marketers.
All Star game is dead! Young fans are heavy into Fantasy Leagues. No Fantasy All Star Game. Older fans still watch, but ridicule tie in with the WS home field advantage. Really, would rather skip All Star Break to keep playing real games.