Juan Soto’s victory in Monday night’s Home Run Derby delivered strong viewership for ESPN.
Between ESPN and ESPN2, the Derby drew 6.877 million viewers (6.019 million for the main broadcast, and another 858,000 for the ESPN2 Statcast broadcast). That’s down 4% from last year’s Derby, which drew 7.13 million viewers on the same two networks.
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, but this year’s event did top the 2018 (5.90 million on ESPN and ESPNEWS), and 2019 (6.20 million on ESPN and ESPN2) events. Aaron Judge’s 2017 dinger barrage drew a staggering 8.17 million viewers, while 2016 was at 5.5 million and 2015 was at 7.1 million. 2015 was the first year of the current timed format.
Overall, there’s not much to say. Viewership for this year’s Derby was right in the range you’d expect, though unlike the pre-pandemic Derbies, it got an out-of-home viewing boost.
If anything, I’m just happy to write an article about national baseball viewership without calling it a record-low.