Baseball’s All-Star Game Yields Record-Low TV Rating for Fox

Major League Baseball drew the lowest television ratings for its All-Star Game in the history of the midseason exhibition, down 8 percent from a year ago.

The National League’s 5-1 win over the American League on Fox last night in Phoenix had a 6.9 rating, down from 7.5 last year, the News Corp. network said.

The 2010 rating was the previous low.

Fox also said the All-Star Game was the most-watched television program on any channel last night and the network’s highest-rated show since the “American Idol” finale on May 25. The ratings surpassed the most recent for horse racing’s Kentucky Derby, Game 7 of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Final and the last round of golf’s U.S. Open.

Eric Shanks, co-president and chief operating officer of Fox Sports Media Group, said last week in a telephone interview that the All-Star Game remains a success even though it’s competing with popular cable programming options that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Nielsen Co. data for the All-Star Game dates back to 1967, when it drew a 25.6 rating.

“The fact that sports and an event like the All-Star Game can deliver a rating in the sevens and high single digits I think is amazing considering people are being pulled in a bunch of different directions,” Shanks said.

The NL has won the last two All-Star Games, having ended a 13-game winless streak in 2010. The NL now holds a 42-38-2 advantage in the all-time results and its champion will get home field advantage in this year’s World Series.

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