The 82nd edition of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game — battered by criticism about the lack of stars — suffered a lack of viewers too.
The game, aka the "Midsummer Classic," attracted barely 10.08 million fans in prime time, according to preliminary Nielsen figures. Pending final numbers, it may be the smallest viewership the game has gotten since black-and-white televisions dominated living rooms — or ever.
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At 9/8c, a two-hour edition of NBC's America's Got Talent, the season's first live show, in which 12 of the 48 finalists performed, including yet another child prodigy and a parrot, far outpaced the game's viewership, averaging 13.75 million. The talent competition plated a 3.9 rating among advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds vs. 2.9 for the game on Fox.
The All-Star Game's slide in ratings can be attributed to at least one bit TV-related reason: more hit shows on cable than ever before, particularly basic cable. Certainly, the game's appeal has sunk harder than a Roy Halladay cut fastball from the days four decades ago when it had 36 million-plus people watching.