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What is the most watched All-Star Game of all-time?


Many NBA fans (casuals and diehards) have a bone to pick with All-Star weekend. When you ask them, they say a big reason for their distaste for the midseason classic is that the All-Star Game (the main event) has lost its luster.

A common complaint about the game is that none of the players take it seriously. Yes, it includes many of the best players in the world. But they are seemingly playing a pickup basketball game at half-speed.

But is this true? Is All-Star game viewership really down? And if so, when was the event at its peak?

The Most Viewed All-Star Games In NBA History

The most-watched All-Star Game in NBA history came in 1993, when the All-Star game was viewed by an estimated 22.9 million people. That game featured the likes of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, and John Stockton.

The top-8 All-Star games in terms of viewership actually all came in the 1990s. The second most viewed All-Star game was in 1992 (18.8 million), the third was in 1996 (17.5 million), the fourth in 1998 (16.93 million), the fifth in 1997 (16.9 million), the sixth in 1995 (15.8 million), seventh in 1994 (13.7 million), and the eighth most watched was in 1990 (13.2 million).

The only other two All-Star games to surpass the 10 million views mark were the 2002 (13.1 million) and 2003 (10.8 million) All-Star games. The latter game was the last time that His Airness played in an All-Star game.

Is The All-Star Game Going Downhill?

According to Statista, after being consistently in double-digit millions in views throughout the 1990s, the All-Star game has failed to reach the ten million view mark in any All-Star game after 2003. As a matter of fact, the only time that the contest has surpassed nine million views since then was in 2011. That game was actually a thriller, going down to the wire with the Western Conference eventually winning 148-143. The late great Kobe Bryant was named the game’s MVP.

Last season, the All-Star game fell below the five million views mark for the first time in the last twenty years, with only 4.6 million people tuning in to the event.

Will the NBA All-Star Game ever get back to its glorious heights? Who knows. But one thing is for certain: far fewer people are tuning in now than they were back in the 1990s and 2000s.

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