Viewership for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game sank to a record low for the second consecutive year and third time in four years, but it was still among two prime-time programs last week to average more than 7 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
Fox’s telecast of the American League’s 4-3 victory over the National League last Tuesday in Cleveland averaged 8.153 million viewers, 6.3% less than the previous low of 8.7 million for the 2018 game.
The past four All-Star Games have had the four smallest official prime-time audiences. The 2017 game averaged 9.28 million viewers, the fourth-smallest official prime-time audience. The 2016 game averaged 8.71 million viewers, then a record-low and now the third smallest of all-time.
The All-Star Game had set record lows in 10 of the 18 years from 1995 through 2012. Fox Broadcasting has carried the game each year since 2001.
Despite the drop in viewership, the All-Star Game was the most-watched sports all-star game for the fifth consecutive year.
Official viewership for most forms of programming is down compared to the past primarily due to higher viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television, as well as increased competition from cable television, Fox and streaming programming and such leisure time activities as surfing the internet, playing video games and watching recorded programming.
The record audience for the All-Star Game came in 1976, when an average of 36.33 million viewers watched ABC’s coverage in an era where there were three major broadcast networks and few other television alternatives.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the only other prime-time program between July 8 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers, averaging 9.807 million to be the most-watched prime-time program for the third time in four weeks.
“America’s Got Talent” has been the most-watched entertainment program each week an original episodes aired dating back at least to the summer of 2017.
Each of the first four episodes of the CBS dating series “Love Island” drew a lackluster response from the public. The 90-minute premiere July 9 averaged 2.615 million viewers against the first one hour, 21 minutes of the All-Star Game, to finish third in the 8-9:30 p.m. time slot and 50th among the week’s prime-time broadcast and cable programs.
The July 10 episode was fifth in its 8-9 p.m. time slot and 53rd for the week, averaging 2.592 million. The July 11 episode was fifth in its 8-9 p.m. time slot and 55th for the week, averaging 2.518 million. The July 12 episode was fourth in its 8-9 p.m. time slot and 86th for the week, averaging 1.974 million viewers.
The NBC comedy talent competition “Bring the Funny” drew the largest audience for a summer series premiere since NBC’s “Little Big Shots: Forever Young” on June 21, 2017, averaging 5.968 million viewers July 9 opposite the All-Star Game to finish fifth for the week. It retained 60.9% of the audience of “America’s Got Talent” that preceded it.
NBC had just two of the week’s eight most-watched programs, but still finished first in the network race for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.55 million viewers.
ABC was second for the week, averaging 3.24 million viewers. It had three of the eight most-watched programs, topped by “The Bachelorette,” fourth for the week, averaging a season-high 6.052 million viewers.
The All-Star Game enabled Fox to finish third after 24 fourth-place finishes the previous 25 weeks, averaging 3.09 million viewers for its 17 hours of programming. Its most-watched program outside of the All-Star Game was the Thursday edition of “MasterChef,” 33rd for the week, averaging 3.124 million viewers.
CBS was fourth, averaging 3.03 million. Its most-watched program was a broadcast of the news magazine “60 Minutes” with all repeat segments which averaged 6.345 million viewers, third for the week. Its next most-watched program was the Sunday edition of “Big Brother,” which followed “60 Minutes,” and averaged 4.203 million viewers, 10th for the week.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes.
ESPN’s coverage of MLB’s Home Run Derby was the week’s most-watched cable program, averaging 5.411 million viewers, a 4% percent decrease from 2018 when it averaged 5.641 million viewers and 33.8% less than the 2017 average of 8.176 million, its largest audience since 2009.
The Home Run Derby was the week’s sixth most-watched program overall, two spots higher than last year.
The 18-minute Home Run Derby “prelude” was the second most-watched cable program and 24th overall, averaging 3.463 million viewers.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 2.278 million viewers. MSNBC was second, averaging 1.535 million and ESPN third, averaging 1.469 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the July 11 episode of the Telmundo telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” which averaged 2.106 million viewers to finish 82nd overall.
Telemundo was the most-watched Spanish-language network after three consecutive second-place finishes behind Univision, averaging 1.17 million viewers. Univision finished second, averaging 1.06 million, followed by UniMas which averaged 400,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 210,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 50,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 33rd consecutive week and 84th time in the past 85 weeks, averaging 7.995 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.896 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.244 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; Fox’s coverage of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; ABC’s “The Bachelorette”; NBC’s “Bring The Funny”; ESPN’s coverage of the Home Run Derby; ABC’s “$100,000 Pyramid” and “Celebrity Family Feud”; NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and the Sunday edition of CBS’ “Big Brother.”
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