On Monday night, Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby took place on ESPN and ESPN2.
New York Mets star Pete Alonso won back-to-back Home Run Derby’s, taking down Baltimore Orioles star Trey Mancini. According to a release from ESPN last night’s derby was the most-watched since 2017.
“The event generated an average audience of 7,126,000 viewers, including 6,358,000 viewers on ESPN and 767,000 viewers on ESPN2 for the Statcast-focused alternate presentation,” ESPN said in the release.
Unsurprisingly, most of the attention came when Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani faced off against Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto.
“The telecast peaked with 8,685,000 viewers from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET during the swing-off between Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto,” ESPN said.
The derby’s viewership was up 13 percent from 2019 and up 19 percent from 2018.
⚾️ The 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby exclusively on ESPN was the most-watched since 2017 (Nielsen)
⬆️ The event averaged 7.1 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2, up 13 percent and 19 percent from 2019 and 2018 (also on ESPN and ESPN2) respectivelyhttps://t.co/xxqrCkUBby pic.twitter.com/3K8g2DwO3L
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) July 13, 2021
The Home Run Derby wasn’t ESPN’s only success of the day either. The Worldwide Leader also announced the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft was the most-watched ever.
“ESPN’s coverage of the first round generated an average audience of 781,000 viewers, up 77 percent from 2020 – the first year the event aired on ESPN,” the network said. “In total, the MLB Draft drew 1,030,000 viewers across ESPN and MLB Network.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected former Louisville star catcher Henry Davis with the No. 1 overall pick.