MLB telecast tops Tuesday with 14.6 mil viewers

Fox’s broadcast of Tuesday’s baseball All-Star Game drew its highest average audience since 2002, leading Fox to the top-rated night of any network since May 20, when it aired the finale of “American Idol.”

Average viewership for the contest was 14.6 million, according to fast nationals from Nielsen. A total of 33.6 million viewers sampled the broadcast at some point. It’s the fourth consecutive year that figure has risen and the highest total since 1999.

Auds for the game were up despite the fact that the 8.9 rating/15 share marked a slight decline from 2008 (9.3/16), indicating more viewers were watching per household.

Viewer totals were aided by an early flurry of scoring after the 8:50 p.m. East Coast start and a taut finish 2½ hours later, when aud levels reached 15 million. The game became TV’s top-rated primetime program of the summer among adults 25-54.

A 50-minute pre-game show that featured baseball legends, including Stan Musial, as well as a ceremonial first pitch by President Obama drew an average audience of 11.2 million.

For the night, Fox averaged 13.8 million viewers, and its adults 18-49 rating of 4.3 matched the combined efforts of NBC (2.5) and CBS (1.8). In host city St. Louis, the game sported a 56 share among all households.

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