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All-Star Game viewership ratings hit record low

Jul 31, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Television cameras are covered up during a rain delay prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Television ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game continued a downward trend that began nine years ago, hitting an all-time low.

The Fox telecast drew 7.51 million viewers, down 8 percent from 8.14 million viewers in 2019, according to SBJ Unpacks, a podcast of the Sports Business Journal. Viewership was slightly better at 8.24 million in 2021.

The American League defeated the National League 3-2 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to run its winning streak to nine games.

Ratings have fallen significantly with the explosion of television channels, internet channels and streaming services available. Before the plethora of other viewing options, All-Star Game viewership reached as high as 36.3 million in 1976 and again in 1980, according to Baseball-Almanac.com.

Ratings fell below 20 million in 1996 (18.5 million), and settled beneath 10 million in 2016 (8.7 million).

This weekend also saw a decrease in viewership for MLB’s Home Run Derby, which was on ESPN, and the MLB first-year player draft, which was aired on ESPN and MLB Network.

Despite the All-Star Game decline, baseball remained ahead of the other major pro sports. The NFL Pro Bowl (ABC/ESPN/DisneyXD) on Feb. 6 drew 6.69 million viewers.

The NBA All-Star Game (TNT/TBS) on Feb. 20 drew 6.28 million viewers, and the NHL All-Star Game (ABC) on Feb. 5 finished at 1.15 million on ABC.

–Field Level Media