Major League Baseball Has Some Hard Questions to Answer

what happened to the viewers?

Major League Baseball planners got some good and bad news out of this year’s All-Star Game when the event’s various television ratings were released. The good news. The All-Star Game in Cleveland got the most viewers overall in prime time in the adults 18-49 year old demographic giving FOX a Tuesday night victory. There was plenty of bad news though. The demographic victory in what advertisers’ views as the best age group to sell their wares was underwhelming. The MLB All-Star game nabbed just 1.7 percent of that available audience but it did beat out NBC’s America’s Got Talent in that demographic. America’s Got Talent did draw the most viewers with an estimated 9.6 million eyeballs in front of the TV. The All-Star Game had just a shade more than seven million viewers. More bad news for Major League Baseball. There was a drop in viewership when compared to 2018. About 1.6 million more viewers watched that game. The All Star Game numbers continue to drop annually. Network television ratings are not what they used to be and FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS had problems getting people in front of the television to watch shows on July 9.

Major League Baseball has tried to showcase the industry’s young stars. The July 8 Home Run Derby did draw eyeballs and was the highest rated cable TV show that night. The show got a bit more than five million watchers but did miserably in the 18-49 year old demographic doing a 1.8 rating. However, the MLB show beat out Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment presentation easily doubling the audience.  Major League Baseball’s attendance has fallen as well this year and that leads to all sorts of questions in terms of what is wrong, how do you fix it and do you ignore TV ratings? MLB needs answers.

American League starting pitcher Justin Verlander, of the Houston Astros, throws during the first inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game against the National League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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