This is hardly breaking news, because MLB’s television ratings (along with TV ratings in general for just about everything not involving an football) have been trending downward for years now, but … the TV ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game on Fox were not good.
The game drew just 8.71 million viewers and a 5.4 household rating according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the lowest ever in both metrics and down 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively, from last year’s game. According to Ad Age, it’s the first time in the 50 years that Nielsen has been tracking the All-Star Game ratings that the exhibition failed to crack 10 million viewers.
Want some more distressing numbers? Here’s the game’s demographic breakdown, which shows that younger viewers would rather do just about anything else besides watch a midsummer exhibition baseball game on television.
Again, this should surprise no one. Gone are the days when seeing out-of-market ballplayers on your television was a novelty. But still, look at what the game used to draw in the three-channel days.
And everyone else’s all-star games haven’t fared much better (MLB’s version still gets the most total viewers out of the four major U.S. sports, though just barely).
NFL Pro Bowl (ESPN): 4.5 rating, 8 million viewers (lowest-rated since 2006 and least-watched since 2007).
NBA All-Star Game (TNT/TBS): 4.3 rating, 7.6 million viewers (flat in ratings, up 6 percent in viewership from 2015).
NHL All-Star Game (NBCSN): 0.9 rating, 1.595 million viewers (up 29 percent in ratings and 34 percent in viewership from 2015).