July 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) celebrating after winning the All-Star Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park. Image: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Although Vladimir Guerrero Jr. making history Monday by winning the Home Run Derby to follow in his father’s footsteps, crowds for this year’s event definitely won’t be getting into the record books anytime soon.
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Guerrero’s victory allowed him to become part of the only father-son duo that saw each member win a title, but the Derby brought its lowest attendance since 2018, the Sports Business Journal reported on Tuesday.
With his father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., after winning the 2007 Home Run Derby, Guerrero Jr. beat out 72 homers at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday to claim the 2023 crown. He went deep 25 times in the finals to defeat Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who hit 23 long balls.
ESPN and ESPN2 coverage of the event brought in 6.11 million viewers, down 11 percent from last year’s Derby, in which Juan Soto beat Julio Rodriguez 19-18 to win the title. It was also the least watched Derby since Bryce Harper beat Kyle Schwarber — also 19-18 — four years ago.
ESPN broadcasts accounted for 5.52 million viewers, while ESPN2 garnered 600,000. ESPN has no chance of benefiting from viewership in the Toronto market, as Nielsen’s numbers focus solely on the United States.
Despite the smaller audience, the Derby ended up as the most-watched summer event on ESPN, and is likely to remain that way. It also still attracts more viewers than the 2023 NBA All-Star Game (4.6 million on TNT and TBS).
–Field Level Media