MLB All-Star game had record low viewership

For years, Major League Baseball used the phrase “this time it counts” to drum up fan interest in the All-Star game. The game may still determine home field advantage in the World Series, but it doesn’t appear the fans care.

The numbers are in, and no one watched the 2016 MLB All-Star game.

Record-low (by a wide margin) for MLB All-Star Game with 8.707 million viewer average. Down from last year’s 10.9M. OOF

OK, fine, technically 8.7 million people watched the contest, but that was still a record-low. For reference, 10.9 million people watched the All-Star game in 2015.

On top of that, the game was beaten in the ratings by America’s Got Talent, which also drew a higher number of younger viewers.

America’s Got Talent 11.5M viewers/2.4 adults 18-49 rating
MLB All-Star Game 8.7M/2.2 adults 18-49 rating

 Personally, I would like to see a more in-depth breakdown of age rankings here. There probably isn’t a lot of overlap between the programs viewed by 18 years old and 49 years old, for example. Still, it’s an interesting figure that is worth passing along.

UPDATE: Ask and you shall receive.

Median age for MLB All-Star Game was 54.6.

294K viewers 12-17
1.2 million viewers 18-34
1.5 million viewers 35-49
5.2 million viewers 50+

 Since Rob Manfred has taken over as commissioner, he’s stressed trying to make the game more appealing to a younger audience. Seeing these figures has to be discouraging.
Petco Park is the host of the 2016 All-Star game. (AP Images/Matt York)
Petco Park is the host of the 2016 All-Star game. (AP Images/Matt York)

With that said, Manfred has also been fairly receptive to change and radical ideas during his tenure, so it’s possible he’ll find a way to slightly revamp the contest while making it more exciting.

The MLB All-Star game is a bit of a tough sell these days. Interleague play is much more common, and fans who own MLB.TV can watch any team they want any time. The All-Star game is no longer the only place you can see stars in different leagues take each other on anymore.

On top of that, no one really cares that the game determines home field advantage in the World Series anymore. The players are there to enjoy themselves, as are the managers. No one is treating this like a real game. That’s not a criticism. Above all, the event should be fun.

Figuring out how to inject new life into the event might be difficult, but MLB managed to do just that with the new Home Run Derby format. The All-Star game numbers don’t look great, but there’s still hope for a turnaround.


Article written by Chris Cwik. Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!