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Added July 15th, 2010 by Chalk

Worst TV Ratings Ever For 2010 MLB All-Star Game

Tuesday’s All-Star Game was the lowest rated since Nielson began keeping records in 1967, attracting only 400,000 more viewers than America’s Got Talent on NBC.  The 2010 ASG averaged only 12.1 million viewers, down 17.5% from last year’s exhibition.  Execs from FOX and MLB are probably already working on tweaks and quick fixes for next year’s game, but FOX did put out the spin that the MLB All-Star Game still got better ratings than its counterparts in the NFL and NBA — without mentioning that those are broadcast on cable’s ESPN and TNT.

A great many baseball fans don’t like at least one aspect of the current version of the All-Star Game.  Common complaints include the expanded rosters (now at 34), requiring at least one player from every team, dilution of interest because of interleague play, and the gimmick of using the game to determine home-field advantage in the World Series.  But is there any way to make today’s millionaire players actually play hard and care as players of times gone by who rarely switched leagues and played for considerably less money?

I’m tempted to say just give it up — accept that most years the All-Star Game will be a boring exhibition that’s mainly interesting to older fans who get nostalgic for days gone by.  But if MLB wants to insist on trying to make the game more meaningful than its counterparts in other sports, they should make managers play to win and discourage them from playing the game like an exhibition where nearly every player on the inflated rosters has to get in the game at some point.  I have no problem with some token guy from last-place teams gets to sit on the bench, but he should only get in the game in some strategic situation like pinch-running or as a defensive replacement.

Another fix would be the venue.  Biz of Baseball notes that last year’s All-Star Game in St. Louis drew a 22.8 rating in the St. Louis market, while this year’s version in Orange County drew only an 8.6 in the Los Angeles area.  No one wants to watch a baseball game in Anaheim ever, especially not the All-Star Game.  So instead of using the ASG as a bargaining chip for owners to get new stadiums built, the game should just rotate among the greatest baseball cathedrals: Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Tropicana Field.  Maybe you could throw an AT&T Park or Dodgers Stadium once in a while, but the game should always be played in a scenic and/or historic stadium, not in some backwater pumpkin patch like Anaheim, Kansas City or Pittsburgh.

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4 Responses to “Worst TV Ratings Ever For 2010 MLB All-Star Game”

  1. Justin says:

    Hard to call this journalism with sentences like this “I’m tempted to say just give it up — accept that most years the All-Star Game will be a boring exhibition that’s mainly interesting to older fans who get nostalgic for days gone by. “

  2. Rich says:

    Huh? Tropicana Field? That must be sarcasm or a misprint

  3. Brian says:

    Who ever said this was a journalistic piece. Not every written article utilizing facts is a news story. Op-eds, as i categorize this page, express opinion based on facts.

  4. damn says:


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