With New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge making a big dent on the 2017 Home Run Derby, the overnight rating for the event was its highest in eight years. The Derby registered a 5.5 overnight rating up an astounding 38% from the year before, peaking with a 6.2 number in the 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET quarter-hour. And this was despite the ESPN broadcast itself being flat and sometimes even dull.
With Judge and fellow Yankee Gary Sánchez in the contest, New York averaged a 10.8 rating thus making it the highest-rated Home Run Derby in the market as far as records go back (1998).
The top five local markets for the Home Run Derby were as follows:
- Kansas City — 13.6
- New York — 10.8
- Hartford — 9.7
- Minneapolis — 8.7
- Pittsburgh — 7.9
As far as online streaming was concerned, it was the most streamed MLB event on an ESPN platform. The average minute audience was 209,000 viewers. It generated 680,000 unique viewers and a total of almost 27.5 million minutes streamed.
UPDATE: ESPN says the total audience on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and online was 8.689 million, up 55% from last year. ESPN says it was the most watched since 2009 and second-most since 1999.
According to Sports TV Ratings, the overnight number for this year’s Home Run Derby still doesn’t match last year’s All-Star Game ratings:
8-year high for the Home Run Derby but the 5.5 wouldn't have bested last year's 6.4 overnight for the All-Star Game (which was a record low) https://t.co/R26YtCNfgk
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) July 11, 2017
The fact that this year’s Home Run Derby had some star power with Judge and each matchup was close especially between Judge and the Miami Marlins’ Justin Bour helped to hike the rating. MLB has to be pleased with the increased interest.