MLB All-Star Game was least-watched ever

MLB's All-Star Game saw an icon make his starting debut in front of his home crowd and the arrival of the game's next superstar.

It wasn't enough to fend off record-low ratings, which Sports Media Watch reported on Wednesday. Per SMW, Tuesday's game broadcast on Fox was the lowest-rated and least-watched in the history of the All-Star Game with a 4.2 rating and 7.51 million viewers.

Per the report, that marks a 7% ratings drop and 10% viewership drop from the 2021 rendition (4.5 rating, 8.32 million viewers) that previously marked a low-point for ratings. The numbers are, of course, relative in an increasingly fractured media market with steadily increasing competition for eyeballs.

Jul 19, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; National League pitcher Luis Castillo (58) of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the American League during the fifth inning of the 2022 MLB All Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Luis Castillo pitches during the fifth inning of the 2022 MLB All Star Game at Dodger Stadium. (Robert Hanashiro/Reuters)

SMW notes that Tuesday's game drew the largest TV audience of any kind since the NBA Finals concluded on June 16 and the biggest audience for Fox since the Feb. 20 Daytona 500. Sports remains king of live viewership. Hence the towering sums doled out in every new broadcast and streaming rights deal.

The All-Star Game also remained the most viewed in sports, topping the 2022 editions of the NFL Pro Bowl (6.69 million) and the NBA All-Star Game (6.28 million). Monday's Home Run Derby (6.88 million) also eclipsed the viewership of the NFL's and NBA's All-Star offerings.

But the dip in viewership on Tuesday continues a sharply downward trend for MLB, which regularly drew 20-plus million viewers in the early 1990s.

For historical context, Sports Illustrated reported in 1967 that that year's rendition of the All Star Game drew 55 million viewers after moving into primetime. The 1966 game played in the afternoon drew 12 million viewers. Viewers in the 60s only had three networks to choose from — ABC, NBC and CBS.

Per SMW, Tuesday's record was the fourth time the game has hit its ratings nadir in six years.