Ratings Roundup: All-Star Game Sinks to All-Time Low

The MLB All-Star Game hit rock bottom with viewers on Tuesday. The National League’s 3-1 victory posted a measly 7.5 household rating, the lowest in the game’s history. Fox’s coverage earned a 7.5 final rating and 12.118 million viewers, down 16% in ratings and 17% in viewers from 2009 (8.9, 14.593 million) and 19% and 17%, respectively, from 2008 (9.3, 14.540 million). To put this in perspective, ESPN’s telecast of the NFL Pro Bowl drew more viewers (12.3 million) than Tuesday night’s game. No All-Star Game in history failed to post at least an 8.0 rating.

ESPN’s coverage of the Home Run Derby on Monday did not fare much better. The David Ortiz victory notched a 4.0 rating, the lowest mark since 2003 and second-lowest in the past 12 years.

For a look at the bigger picture, check out Baseball Almanac’s game-by-game All-Star Game ratings breakdown and Media Post’s look at the overall decline in All-Star Game ratings for all major sports.

At the All-Star Break, several regional sports networks (RSNs) in the Northeast have reported solid ratings increases.

SNY, which broadcasts New York Mets games, established a new ratings record for the first half of the season with a 3.3 household rating. That’s a record for the team on a New York RSN and a 3% increase over the previous high, in 2009. SNY’s 305,000 average total viewers for the first half of the season is a 4% increase from last year.

Just down the road, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s coverage of the Phillies also logged record ratings. So far in 2010, Phillies games on the RSN are averaging a 7.2 household rating (214,000 households) through 50 games, a 16% increase over last season’s first-half average 6.2 rating. The season-to-date rating also puts the Phillies on track for their eighth consecutive season of ratings growth.

The ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual award-show circus, earned a 1.7 U.S. rating and 2.611 million viewers on Wednesday night, up 13% in ratings and 14% in viewers from last year’s show (1.5, 2.300 million).

Now that 2010 has passed the midway point, Sports Media Watch offers a comprehensive look at the 50 highest-rated sporting events on broadcast and cable thus far.