All-Star Game audience creeps toward Pro Bowl levels

The 92nd MLB All-Star baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
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Once upon a time, the Major League All-Star Game counted as one of the tentpole events of summer. That time isn’t now.

On Tuesday night, the midsummer not-as-classic-as-it-used-to-be fell to an all-time low audience of 7.5 million, via Sports Business Journal.

That’s more, but not much more, than the Pro Bowl, which generated 6.69 million viewers earlier this year. And the Pro Bowl, as a game, is a shadow of what it once was. It’s full-pads two-hand touch, even if that’s all it should be.

The fact that the Pro Bowl performs so well in comparison to other all-star games (the NBA drew 6.28 million and the NHL saw an anemic 1.15 million on ABC earlier this year) justifies keeping it, even as Commissioner Roger Goodell has renewed his periodic huffing and puffing about blowing the game down.

Is it good for Big Shield to have such a bad game? No, but no one seems to care. The fans understand why players who are healthy in early February wouldn’t want to head into the offseason with a high-speed, full-contact game.

The Pro Bowl is far from perfect. Eventually, however, it probably will enjoy a bigger audience than any of the other major league exhibitions of the best players in the sport. That’s reason enough to keep it going.

19 responses to “All-Star Game audience creeps toward Pro Bowl levels

  1. Its like watching the actors of Top Gun…at rehearsal. Then being asked to pay to see it. Theres no point.

  2. Purists would watch more of these games if idiot fans didn’t vote in guys that don’t deserve to go

  3. Inter-league play long ago killed the novelty of the baseball All-Star game.
    It used to be fascinating to see players who didn’t regularly face each other square off. It also makes the World Series less compelling.
    Baseball is complicit in its own demise.

  4. The lesson for the NFL there is that MLB has proven that if enough owners and players and broadcasters work long enough and hard enough, they can collide to destroy an institution as fundamental as hot dogs and apple pie. And the principals within the pro football industry are on that path.

  5. I watched the all star game for years but it’s totally insignificant as is the NBA and the NFL all star game. I had to re-sort my sock drawer

  6. I used to be a hardcore baseball fan growing up. Went to the games, watched them in TV. Listened to the games on the radio. Read all the articles.

    Then, it slowly started to dawn on me. It’s a rigged sport. As a fan of a small market team, to constantly see the richest clubs pilfer their top players year after year.

    First I was upset. Then disgusted. Then apathetic. Then I checked out. I can’t tell you a single player who plays on my old favorite team. And I’m quite happy to not go through the heartache anymore.

  7. IMO, baseball is the only one worth watching. However, I did not watch it either.

  8. Since they want a low contact game, why not play flag football? Especially since they are promoting it as an Olympic sport? You can even get cute and have fans play too.

  9. MLB is still the #1 All-Star package in major league sports with the home run derby (6.88 million viewers) and the all-star game (7.507 million viewers). 14.4 million viewers is down from previous years, but still tops all. A mic’d up Alex Manoah of the Jays was the best part of the in-game.

  10. Watching baseball is like watching paint dry but with endless commercials and ad placements. The outfield walls are filled with ads, ads are projected onto some walls and even onto the pitcher’s mound (Red Sox do this, it changes every inning). More ads rotate on the wall behind the plate. The players in the ASG just laugh and slap hands and it’s hardly even a game. I’d rather watch a college game than MLB (at 1/10 the cost).

  11. Let the SB participants resume playing in it somehow. That might help increase ratings and shorten the game to 7 minutes per qtr. MLB should shorten its all-star game to 7 innings and hockey to 2 periods. They’re exhibitions so treat them as such.

  12. make it the the “PRO BOWL AT THE BEACH” no pads,guys wearing shorts no shoes”if desired” , i mean who don’t love playing football on the beach. get tackled in soft warm sand , get tackled in the ocean.

  13. bigdogsolec says:

    make it the the “PRO BOWL AT THE BEACH” no pads,guys wearing shorts no shoes”if desired” , i mean who don’t love playing football on the beach. get tackled in soft warm sand , get tackled in the ocean.

    I’m 100% sure Robert Edwards ACL, MCL, PCL plus partially tore his LCL and every Patriots fan would disagree with this…

  14. I landed on the All-Star game when there was a miked-up out of shape pitcher in a hideous black uniform – I couldn’t tell you which team he actually plays for. I lasted two minutes. My childhood had All Star games featuring Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays wearing their Yankee’s and Giant’s uniforms respectively – magical!

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