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Derby draws large TV, social media audience

Derby draws large TV, social media audience

Derby draws large TV, social media audience
Each home run was a shot heard around the world Monday night at the State Farm Home Run Derby.

An increased TV audience and massive online following tuned in as Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder became the second player in history to win the contest multiple times.

The telecast generated a 4.81 coverage rating and 6.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. Both figures are a three percent increase over those for the 2011 Home Run Derby. Kansas City paced all markets with a 15.1 rating, the second highest for a host city since 2002.

The Derby also contributed to an increase in social media activity. Players were permitted to use social media live from Kauffman Stadium during the event, generating more than 800,000 total Twitter and public Facebook comments, more than twice the volume than last year's Derby, according to Bluefin Labs. The hash tag "#HRDerby" was the most trended term on Twitter during the telecast, receiving nearly 275,000 mentions.

Fielder topped Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, 12-7, in the final round of the Derby to win the crown.

Participants in the Derby saw their social media presence increase as well. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano gained more than 26,000 followers on his Twitter account between 9 a.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday. Bautista added nearly 20,000 new followers and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo welcomed nearly 16,000, a 73.9 percent increase for his account.

Emphasis on social media will continue during tonight's All-Star Game at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Players who are no longer competing in the game will be able to use computer stations adjacent to each clubhouse to reach out to fans.

Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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