MLB All-Star game is a home run for Sportsnet

The game's viewership success in Canada contrasts sharply with the 20% decline witnessed in the U.S.
Joseph Sohm /

The aftermath of the Major League Baseball All-Star game in San Diego on Tuesday night may be all about a tenor closing the night on a low note, but the night offered a big win for Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet.

The 2016 MLB All-Star Game was up 54% year-over-year in Canada, with an average of 993,000 viewers, making it the most-watched MLB All-Star game in Canadian history. Unlike the NHL playoffs this year, MLB’s big game was (proportionally) stacked with Cancon: five Toronto Blue Jays were named to the roster, with four on the playing field, including two of the team’s biggest stars, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. 

The numbers in Canada – which, arguably, is in the grip of year two of Blue Jays fever – diverged significantly from the U.S., where Fox’s broadcast saw ratings slump 20% to 8.71 million, according to media reports. 

The Jays have delivered big for Rogers this season, with the first 81 games averaging 825,000 viewers on Sportsnet to date. Overall 3.15 million Canadians tuned in to watch some part of the MLB All-Star’s broadcast, in which players from the Blue Jays (Donaldson, Encarnacion, Aaron Sanchez, Michael Saunders and, on the disabled list, Marco Estrada) were part of the winning American League All-Star team, which captured a 4-2 win over the National League All-Stars.

 Image by: Joseph Sohm /