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All-Star Game Is Prime-Time Dud

July 11, 2002|Associated Press

NEW YORK — There wasn't a winner in the All-Star game, but there was a loser: the sport's television rating.

Tuesday night's controversial 7-7, 11-inning tie in Milwaukee set a record for baseball's lowest-rated All-Star game in prime time, getting a 9.5 rating and 17 share, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday.

The rating was down 14% from the 11.0 for the American League's 4-1 victory last year in Seattle. The previous prime-time low was a 10.1 for the AL's 6-3 victory two years ago in Atlanta, and the only lower rating was an 8.6 for the 1953 game in Cincinnati, which was played in the afternoon.

Like network ratings in general, the All-Star game rating has steadily declined. From a peak of 28.5 in 1970, it dropped below 20 for the first time in 1987. The game drew a 15.7 rating in 1994, then dropped to 13.9 the following year after a strike wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Tuesday night's game was seen by an average of 10,023,000 households, less than half the 20.38 million that tuned in 20 years earlier.

Still, baseball got a higher rating than this year's NBA All-Star game on NBC (8.2), the Pro Bowl on ABC (4.3) and the NHL All-Star game on ABC (1.8).

ESPN's telecast of the Home Run Derby on Monday night drew a 6.11 rating--the second-highest rated show this year on the network. The competition, won by the New York Yankees' Jason Giambi, was up 18% from last year's event, which drew a 5.19.

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