A mere 17 blocks away at Madison Square Garden hosted one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the NBA All-Star Game. Some of the best athletes in the NBA played in the 163-158 game.
So, it's no question that Nielsen had quite the busy night calculating ratings for these two huge events. Going into the night, it could have been a toss-up which of these events drew more viewers at home. At the end of the night, however, it was Saturday Night Live who took home the highest ratings of the night and it was not even a close race. SNL 40 drew a whopping 14.2 household rating versus the All-Star Game's 5.5 rating. SNL 40's 14.2 rating equates to 23.1 million viewers.
A lot of that 5.5 rating may be from the west coast as well because SNL 40 was shown on tape delay meaning that the All-Star Game was about over by the time SNL started.
There could be a lot of reasons why the ratings were the way they were. But at the end of the day, this says a lot about how the face of All-Star Games are changing. The MLB All-Star Game is the only all-star game that actually has long-term meaning. The other all-star games are just showcases of athletes that are just there to have fun. Many fans, including myself, are starting to get bored of athletes that are not there to try their hardest.
If that is the reason why the ratings were so in favor of SNL 40, then it should send a large wake-up call to the leagues to change their approach to an all-star game to make it more worth watching. Hypothetically, the all-star games should be huge events with a lot of talent giving it their all for the fans. However, we have been getting far from it.
Junior, Broadcast Production
Student Advisory Board Member