All-Star Game ratings out of the park

Fox's telecast is highest-rated night of summer

NEW YORK -- Tuesday's 15-inning MLB All-Star Game was, at least during the nine-inning portion, the highest-rated since 2001.

While final ratings will be out later Wednesday, Nielsen Media Research issued two preliminary sets of ratings for the game because of its length -- the first time since the 11-inning tie during the 2002 All-Star Game. Tuesday's game, which began at 8:47 p.m. ET ended with a walk-off run in the bottom of the 15th inning at 1:37 p.m. ET when more than two-thirds of the crowd at Yankee Stadium had long since left.

The game's first nine innings averaged an 11.0 household rating/18 share, Nielsen said. That's up 11% compared with last year's 9.9/17 overnight rating from San Francisco. It later settled to an 8.4 rating, the lowest All-Star Game in history.

The extra innings portion averaged an 8.9/21, which was still higher than last year's nine-inning game.

This doesn't seem like, even with the split ratings decision, that it will be a record low. MLB and Fox had spent a lot of time and effort, inviting all living Hall of Famers to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium, to making sure the ratings would be high. Fox likely received a little bit more in terms of revenue for the extra innings though it might not be much to write home about compared to the nine innings where the spots were going for $475,000 each.

It will be the highest overnight household rating since 2003's 11.1/18, though that game finally settled to a 9.5/17. The 2001 All-Star Game averaged an 11.0/19, and has been the highest rating since 1999's game at Fenway Park.

Regardless of the historical performance, Fox's telecast will be the highest-rated night of primetime in major demos all summer. The top market surprisingly wasn't New York, where it received a 17.1/28 household rating. That went to St. Louis, which averaged a 20.3/32 followed by Minneapolis (19.4/33) and Milwaukee (18.8/28).

Fox's one-hour coverage of the All-Star and Hall of Famer parade that had happened earlier in Manhattan drew a 2.7/6, while the pregame festivities averaged an 8.4/15, Nielsen said.

Meanwhile, ESPN's coverage of the Home Run Derby was a grand slam. It averaged 6.8 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said. It was the most-watched Home Run Derby in history and led the network to wins in all key demos plus viewers not only in cable but in broadcast too