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All-Star game enjoys ratings growth and social media activity spike

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The 83rd MLB All-Star Game (@MLB #ASG) on FOX generated an increase in overnight TV ratings and won the night in prime time despite an 8-0 blowout victory by the National League.  The All-Star Game also enjoyed a huge spike in social media activity as players -- including Derek Jeter, Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista, and Stephen Strasburg -- for the first time ever interacted with fans via social media during the game once they were no longer playing. 

The All-Star Game telecast on FOX drew an 8.1 metered market rating according to data from Nielsen, representing a +3% increase over the 7.9 from last year’s game in Phoenix.  FOX won the night in prime time, beating its nearest competitor by 47%.  St. Louis led all markets with a 20.5 rating, followed by host Kansas City which averaged an 18.7 and Detroit which delivered a 16.1.  Among the markets seeing the biggest increase in ratings over last year were Detroit (+50%), Washington (+36%), Los Angeles (+27%) and Dallas (+27%).

On social media, the All-Star Game generated 807,603 total public Twitter and Facebook comments, a 257% increase over last year’s All-Star Game (226,461), based on data from Bluefin Labs.  In fact, by the end of the first inning last night there were already more social media comments than the entire 2011 All-Star Game generated.  Among 27 different All-Star related topics that trended worldwide on Twitter last night, the hashtag #ASG was used in 245,362 social media comments making it the most trended term for the telecast (30.4% of all comments). 

For the first time ever, computer stations were set up in a room adjacent to each clubhouse allowing players -- once they were no longer competing in the game -- to quickly reach out to fans via social media while completing their other media obligations before returning to the bench.  Throughout the game nearly a dozen players stopped by the room starting with Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp), who due to injury did not play in the game and therefore was able to visit the social media room in the first inning and become the first player ever to send a tweet during a live game.

In addition to Kemp, Bautista (@JoeyBats19), R.A. Dickey (@RADickey43), Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22), David Price (@DAVIDprice14) and Strasburg (@stras37) visited the social media room and tweeted from their personal accounts.  Billy Butler, Matt Cain, Jeter, Joe Nathan and Pablo Sandoval visited the room and answered questions from fans via official MLB accounts.  This initiative was a collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (@MLB_Players) and MLB Advanced Media, with support from FOX.

Kershaw, Price and Strasburg provided commentary on their All-Star appearances while Bautista tweeted words of encouragement for the AL and Dickey thanked his fans for their support.  Over a 24-hour period around the event (9:00 am ET Tuesday to 9:00 am ET Wednesday), Kemp picked up 6,930 new followers, Dickey gained 6,465 and Strasburg gained 4,939.

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