Home Run Derby viewership receded from last year’s high but nonetheless outpaced all other All-Star events in sports.
The Major League Baseball Home Run Derby averaged a 3.6 rating and 6.88 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 Monday night, down from a 3.8 and more than seven million last year, but flat and up 9% respectively from 2019 (3.6, 6.20M). Keep in mind out-of-home viewing was not included in 2019 or prior years.
Despite the decline, the Derby ranks as the most-watched All-Star event in sports this year — outdrawing the NFL Pro Bowl on ESPN, ABC and DisneyXD (6.69M) and the NBA All-Star Game on TNT and TBS (6.28M). The past five years the Derby has been held (2017-19 and 2021-22), it has outdrawn the NBA All-Star Game three times (2017, 2021 and 2022) and the Pro Bowl twice (2017 and 2022).
As goes without saying, it trounced the NBA’s equivalent All-Star Saturday Night on TNT (4.24M) — to say nothing of the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on NFL Network (244K).
The lead-out program, the premiere of ESPN’s Derek Jeter documentary series “The Captain,” averaged a 1.1 and 1.84 million — ESPN’s most-watched documentary premiere since “The Last Dance” two years ago, but down from last year’s comparable MLB Celebrity Softball Game, which averaged more than two million.
In adults 18-49 (1.95), 18-34 (1.5) and 25-54 (2.4), the Derby ranks as television’s top program since the NBA Finals ended more than a month ago. It topped all six games of the Stanley Cup Final in each demo and in viewership, and in 18-34 outdrew one of last year’s World Series games on FOX (Game 2: 1.3).
Compared to the other All-Star events, the Derby was no match for the NBA All-Star Game in the key demos (2.4, 2.05 and 2.6 respectively) but outdrew all other All-Star festivities — including last year’s MLB All-Star Game.
In other MLB ratings news, regional action featuring Red Sox-Yankees averaged a 1.4 rating and 2.38 million viewers on FOX Saturday night — the third-largest audience of the season. The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has generated the four largest audiences of the season, including three in just the past ten days.
Sunday night’s first round of the MLB Draft averaged a combined 0.45 and 780,000 on ESPN and MLB Network, a sizable decline from last year (0.6, ~1M).[Nielsen estimates from Programming Insider 7.20, ShowBuzz Daily 7.19, ESPN PR]
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