Ratings down eight percent this year

Updated: July 13, 2005, 6:21 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Ratings for baseball's All-Star game hit a new low for the second straight year.

The American League's 7-5 victory over the National League in Detroit received an 8.1 rating and 14 share on FOX, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday, down 8 percent from the 8.8 rating for the AL's 9-4 win last year in Houston.

The AL took a 7-0 lead in Tuesday night's game, which was watched by an average of 8,878,000 television households, a decrease from 9,504,000 last year. FOX estimated 29.5 million people tuned in, down from 32.8 rating last year.

This year's game, which gave Fox a prime time win, had a high rating of 9.2 from 9:30-10 p.m., then dropped to an 8.4 as the AL went ahead 5-0 and a 7.7 when it took a seven-run lead.

While baseball's All-Star rating has declined it easily remains the strongest among the major U.S. sports -- and the only one this year that has been televised by on an over-the-air network.

The NBA All-Star game, played in Denver on Feb. 20, got a 4.9 cable rating on TNT and was seen in 5,331,000 households and viewed by 8,082,000 people, according to Nielsen. The NFL's Pro Bowl, which took place at Honolulu in Feb. 13, got a 4.1 cable rating on ESPN and was viewed in 4,539,000 homes and viewed by 6,161,000 people, Nielsen said.

There was no NHL All-Star game this year because of the lockout that ended Wednesday, which wiped out the 2004-05 season.

St. Louis, where the game drew a 23.3/34, was the highest-rated market for the third straight year, followed by host Detroit, at 22.5/33, up 58 percent from last year's 14.2/21. With four members of the World Series champion Red Sox in the starting lineup, the game drew a 19.5/33 in Boston, an increase of 54 percent from last year's 12.7/23.

The famous 1971 All-Star game, when six future Hall of Famers homered at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, got a 27.0 rating and 50 share on NBC, and it was watched by an average of 16.23 million homes. That was in an era when ABC, CBS and NBC dominated the ratings and there was little or no competition from cable television.

The rating is the percentage watching a program among the all television households, and each point for over-the-air networks represents 1,096,000 homes. The share is the percentage tuned in among those homes with TVs in use at the time.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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