• T-1 shows that MLB’s All-Star game on FOXTV has both the audience and the 30 sec ad rate to be called major league. The other All-Star games, are minor league by comparison.
  • T-2 gives the “measuring stick” of each league’s championship series/game TV audience and the cost of 30 secs of TV ad time. The SB is a runaway winner with the World Series & NBA Finals in a dead heat for #2.
  • The most definitive comparison however may well be whether there is any real value or intrinsic worth of these All-Star Having said that, ONLY MLB survives the test of legitimacy.  That is, ALL the other games are for show; they are pure theater.  The NBA’s game is an unaltered “Globetrotter” type of basketball entertainment.  The NHL’s game has fewer followers than the others with NO relevancy and the Pro Bowl is the biggest joke, as it has actually become part of SB week.  At the end of the day ONLY MLB’s game matters b/c “This Time it Counts” with its winner having “home field” advantage. How important is it? Since this “home field” advantage has been in place (2002), 8 of the past 12 WS winners have had “home field” thx to the All-Star Game!
  • Cincinnati is hosting the 86th All-Star Game at the Great American Ball Park (opened in 2003). This is the 5th time the Reds have hosted the All-Star Game. Cincinnati lays claim to having the 1st pro baseball team (1869) and to having MLB’s 1st night game in 1935.
Network Audience 30-sec Ad Network Audience 30-sec Ad
MLB 2014 FOX 11.34 M $ .59 M World Series 2014 FOX 23.5 M (G 7) $520,000
NBA 2015 TNT 7.2 M $ .24 M NBA Finals 2015 ABC 19.93 M (avg) $535,000
NFL 2015 ESPN 8.8 M NA NFL SB 2015 NBC 114.4 M (2014) $4,500,000
NHL 2015 NBCSN 1.2 M NA Stanley Cup 2015 NBC 5.53 M (avg) $96,000
Source: Sports Media Watch, Forbes, Nielsen, Sports Biz Daily, CNN & TVByTheNumbers
T-3: Economic Impact of All-Star Games
2015 2014 2013 2012
MLB (Cincinnati)       $60 M1 $75 M4 $116/$192 M7 $30/$60 M10
NBA (New York City) $195 M2 $60.4/$106.1 M5 $60/$100 M8 $56.3/$95 M+11
NFL (Glendale)         N/A $72 M6 $25.3 M (2012)9 $28.2 M (2011)12
NHL (Columbus)       $50 M3 Olympics Lockout $11.4 M13
1. Tot Econ impct (WCPO Cincinnati) 4. Tot Econ impact ( 7.(NYCEDC) Dir Spending / Tot Econ 10. ( Dir. Spend/Tot Econ impct
2. Tot Econ impct (NY Biz Journal) 5. Dir Spend/Tot Econ impct (UofN Orleans) 8. Dir Spend/Tot Econ impct (Forbes) 11. Dir/Tot impct(
3. (Associate Press) Dir Spend / Tot Econ impct 6. Dir Visitor Spend (HI Tour Auth) 9.( Dir Spend / Tot Econ impct 12. (Pac Bus News) Dir Spend / Tot Econ impct
13. Dir Spend (







MLB provided America with its 1st pro All-Star game. On July 6th, 1933 the brainchild of legendary Chi Trib sports editor Arch Ward was played in Chicago’s Comiskey Park as part of the 1933 World’s Fair. The game was meant to be a “one & done” event. Its great success however, mandated it as an annual event.  There was no game played in 1945 b/c of wartime travel restrictions.  There were 2 All-Star games in 1959, 61, & 62 with the profits from the 2nd game going to improve the depleted players’ pension fund.  In 2002 there was the debacle All-Star Game with a tie score of 7-7.  After that game Commish Bud Selig hatched a plan where the winner had WS “home field advantage” and sloganed “This time it Counts”.  Since 2002 there have been 12 “home field advantage” winners with 8 being WS winners.  All-Star festivities start with a “FanFest” which includes a meet and greet with players along with free autographs, batting cages and a treasure trove of memorabilia. The Sat b-4 the All-Star Game features a “Color Run” 5K in the morning and a concert featuring Demi Lovato in the evening. No day of rest on All-Star wkend, scheduled on Sun is an all-day block party as well as the MLB’s “futures” game which stars some of the Top 100 up & coming prospects. The Home Run Derby (started in 1985) will be on Mon night followed by the Tues night All-Star GameThe Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) is hosting its first All-Star Game with Cincy having been an All-Star host last in 1988.

The NFL has had a tortured history of All-Star Games with many different formats, locations, etc.

  1. 1938-1942: The reg season champ played a team of All-Stars from the rest of the league in late Dec or early Jan.
  2. 1934-1976 (except for 1974 NFL strike): A team of College All-Stars played the NFL It was a charity event that was also the dream of the aforementioned Arch Ward. (Played in August)
  3. 1950-1969 NFL Pro Bowl: American Conference champs played the Nat’l Conference Played in Jan after reg season and the SB (in 1967-70)
  4. 1970-2012 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl: Held in various warm weather sights, including Hawaii from 1979-2012, except for 2009 when it was in FL.
  5. 2013-2016: Features unconferenced Pro Bowl in Hawaii except for the 2014 game (AZ) This format follows a pick up format where 2 captains are chosen and they select their players as if the game was a playground “pick up game”.

The 1st NBA All-Star Game was in 1951.  The game is more Hollywooding & Globetrotting than basketball.  The game means nothing and is conducive to show boating, dunks, alley oops, etc.  The ½ time is SB type entertainment featuring today’s pop artists. The game is a sports-entertainment spectacle.  It has been held every yr since 1951 (except for the lockout yr of 1999). Great scoring, no defense is this game’s mantra, total scores avg > 250 pts. (This game is made for Vegas, which hosted it in 2007)

The NHL All-Star is a mid-season special with its original format being articulated in 1947.  Initially played at the season’s start, it was moved to mid-season in 1966.  There were no games in 1966 (b/c of shift to mid-season) 1995, 2005, 2013 (b/c of lockouts) and in 2006 ’10 & ‘14 (b/c of Olympics.)  Various formats have been used. League Champs vs All-Stars, Conference vs Conference, World NHL players vs North Am NHL players, etc.  The NHL Skills Competition is a bonus allowing players to showcase their talents. It includes fastest skater, hardest shot, and accuracy competitions. Viewing Tables 1-3, one can easily conclude that few folks really care about the NHL whether it is the All-Star Game or the Stanley Cup Finals. It is a niche’ sport.

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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