📉 The decline of All-Star Games

BleedGopher

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per Axios Sports:

Fewer and fewer people are tuning in to watch All-Star Games across the Big Four sports leagues, Jeff writes.

Driving the news: MLB's Midsummer Classic drew a record-low 7.51 million viewers on Tuesday. And yet, that's still the largest audience among Big Four All-Star Games, all of which have seen their audiences dwindle over the past two decades.
  • 🏒 NHL All-Star Game: Down 57.1% since 2002
  • 🏀 NBA All-Star Game: Down 48.9% since 2002
  • ⚾MLB All-Star Game: Down 48.7% since 2002
  • 🏈 NFL Pro Bowl: Down 4.2% since 2002 (but down ~50% from the early 2010s peak).
Between the lines: Viewership for those leagues' championship series is also declining (outside of the Super Bowl), but the drop-off is less pronounced than it is for the All-Star Games. NBA Finals viewership, for example, is down 21% in that time.

The bottom line: With more viewing options, sports fans appear to be deprioritizing relatively meaningless — albeit fun and star-studded — exhibition games.

Go Gophers!!
 

short ornery norwegian

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once upon a time, All-Star games were played at a relatively "serious" level. the game play was at least similar to a regular-season game.

then, as time has passed, the All-Star games have steadily moved away from anything approaching a "real" game. the NBA is a glorified pick-up game where nobody plays defense. Likewise with the NHL. and the Pro Bowl is a joke.

the MLB All-Star game is still recognizable as a baseball game, but with the constant substitutions, players doing live interviews while they are playing, etc, it's getting further away from reality.

they could dump all of the All-Star games and I wouldn't miss them. do the skills challenges, home run derby, 3-point contest, etc., but skip the game.
 

TruthSeeker

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once upon a time, All-Star games were played at a relatively "serious" level. the game play was at least similar to a regular-season game.

then, as time has passed, the All-Star games have steadily moved away from anything approaching a "real" game. the NBA is a glorified pick-up game where nobody plays defense. Likewise with the NHL. and the Pro Bowl is a joke.

the MLB All-Star game is still recognizable as a baseball game, but with the constant substitutions, players doing live interviews while they are playing, etc, it's getting further away from reality.

they could dump all of the All-Star games and I wouldn't miss them. do the skills challenges, home run derby, 3-point contest, etc., but skip the game.
Correct. People watched when the game was treated seriously.

I used to watch the NBA and MLB all-star games every year. I looked forward to those games each season.

Now, I don't even consider turning them on.
 

GophersInIowa

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I actually enjoyed the game this year. The players mic'd up during the game was entertaining. The MLB All-star game is still by far the closest to a serious game of the big 4 leagues. The pitchers are still throwing in the upper 90's and 100. Players are still trying to get a hit.
 



GopherVotary

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I still watch the MLB all-star game, but the constant substitutions removes much of the fun of the game. I remember when the starting pitcher went three innings. I also remember Rod Carew threatening to not go because he always got pulled early in the game after just one AB.

The other all-star games are unwatchable.
 
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Ope3

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I still watch the MLB all-star game, but the constant substitutions removes much of the fun of the game. I remember when the starter went three innings. I also remember Rod Carew threatening to not go because he always got pulled early in the game after just one AB.

The other all-star games are unwatchable.
I recall Rodney setting the All Star Game record with 2 triples in 1978. That will be awfully tough to beat, even equaled.
 

Iceland12

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NFL Pro Bowl - Players don't want to be there. Owners don't want their players to get hurt in a meaningless game. Though they both want the money. The NFL and TV keep trying to make it interesting enough to make people want to watch. It won't work.

NHL - They've fiddled with the format for a few years now to get more viewers. Hasn't worked. The ratings, even in this "State of Hockey" are pretty bad.

NBA - It hasn't been a game since the players decided it was "us against the owners" rather than against each other. Some people like to watch all dunks and 3s. Most don't.

MLB - It's still a game but with all the complaining when "their guy" doesn't get in, the substitutions indeed make it a very long game. Oh and Managers whine when their pitcher throws to many pitches! Now add in Interleague Play and there's really no more American vs. National League rivalry. Old Timers know about that long streak where the NL dominated the AL.

Today? Bet very few know about the current streak of AL domination.
 

Breakin' The Plane

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The only All-Star event that I care about is the 3-point shootout. Everything else is basically filler at this point.
 



howeda7

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Correct. People watched when the game was treated seriously.

I used to watch the NBA and MLB all-star games every year. I looked forward to those games each season.

Now, I don't even consider turning them on.
It's partially that. But also the All-Star game used to be the only time you might see some players, especially in MLB. Now with inter-league play, and every game on TV, highlights instantly available, that is not a reason to watch.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Yeah. when I was a kid - 60's into early 70's - the MLB all-star game meant the kind of matchups you could only see in the World Series.

Bob Gibson pitching against Harmon Killebrew. Tom Seaver vs Reggie Jackson.

It was exciting.

PS - if they would have asked Bob Gibson to be mic'd up and do a live interview while he was pitching, the response would have been "Get the F*** out of here before I f***ing kill you."
One of the most intimidating pitchers of all time.
 

Ope3

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Yeah. when I was a kid - 60's into early 70's - the MLB all-star game meant the kind of matchups you could only see in the World Series.

Bob Gibson pitching against Harmon Killebrew. Tom Seaver vs Reggie Jackson.

It was exciting.

PS - if they would have asked Bob Gibson to be mic'd up and do a live interview while he was pitching, the response would have been "Get the F*** out of here before I f***ing kill you."
One of the most intimidating pitchers of all time.
I'm guessing Drysdale would have some interesting insight.
 

GophersInIowa

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I still watch the MLB all-star game, but the constant substitutions removes much of the fun of the game. I remember when the starting pitcher went three innings. I also remember Rod Carew threatening to not go because he always got pulled early in the game after just one AB.

The other all-star games are unwatchable.
It appears I'm very much in the minority but I don't mind the substitutions. It gives me an opportunity to see players I rarely get to see. I know there's highlights everywhere but rarely do I actually spend time to watch a pitcher pitch for example.
 



Ope3

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It's partially that. But also the All-Star game used to be the only time you might see some players, especially in MLB. Now with inter-league play, and every game on TV, highlights instantly available, that is not a reason to watch.
Back in the day as I was growing up in the 70s/80s it really was the "Midsummer Classic". I used to take it hard when the AL lost year after year, to the point of disgust.

I remember this like it happened yesterday. Just amazed.


What a throw by Parker. Also a sweet tag by Carter.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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Back in the day as I was growing up in the 70s/80s it really was the "Midsummer Classic". I used to take it hard when the AL lost year after year, to the point of disgust.

I remember this like it happened yesterday. Just amazed.


What a throw by Parker. Also a sweet tag by Carter.
Same game. What an arm Parker had.

 

short ornery norwegian

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The Cobra!

I caught a show on MLB Network - called "The Cobra at Twilight." talked about Parker's career and some of the things he has gone through later in life - including being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Also talked about the Pittsburgh drug trials in the mid-80's.

really good program.
 





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