via press release:
Home Run Derby Wins the Night for ESPN; Third Best Rating of 2009
Hometown Audience in St. Louis the Highest HR Derby Market Rating Ever – 18.9
Last night, the 2009 State Farm Home Run Derby on ESPN from St. Louis’ Busch Stadium averaged a 6.0 , the highest rating in all of television for the night, representing 5,855,000 households (and 8,250,000 viewers – P2+). ESPN “won the night” as the most-watched among all networks, broadcast or cable, with a larger audience in prime time among viewers. The network also led among all key male and adult demos – Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54, Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54. Based on the household audience, it is ESPN’s second-most watched Home Run Derby ever, behind only last year’s competition at Yankee Stadium (6,184,000 homes, based on a 6.4 rating).
The rating is ESPN’s third best of 2009, exceeded only by two NBA Western Conference Final telecasts in May (Los Angeles vs. Denver – 6.5 for Game 5 and 6.9 for Game 4). In addition, the Derby is cable’s most-watched program in the month of July to date.
The Home Run Derby also delivered a 2.0 rating for Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, its best MLB rating ever (the network has received ratings since May 2008 and has televised 32 Sunday Night Baseball games in that time).
In St. Louis, the metered market rating was 18.9, the highest for any metered market in the 12 years ESPN has televised the event live. The previous high was in 2002, when Milwaukee, the host city, averaged a 15.9. It was the highest cable rating in St. Louis for 2009, and the highest-rated sports telecast in the market this year (excluding NFL).
In addition, the Taco Bell Legends and Celebrity Softball Game, which aired on ESPN immediately following the Home Run Derby, earned a 2.7 rating, up 8 percent from 2.5 in 2008. It averaged 2,647,000 households and 3,613,000 viewers, both up 9 percent from a year ago (2,436,000 and 3,303,000, respectively).