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MLB sees fan growth across the board in 2019

@_dadler
September 30, 2019

The 2019 MLB season featured increased TV and digital viewership, growing participation in baseball and softball, a combined attendance of nearly 110 million fans across Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. MLB released a report Monday detailing fan engagement and participation during the last six months, plus other notable

The 2019 MLB season featured increased TV and digital viewership, growing participation in baseball and softball, a combined attendance of nearly 110 million fans across Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.

MLB released a report Monday detailing fan engagement and participation during the last six months, plus other notable fan facts from the season.

Nearly 170 million people -- 167.9 million age 12 or older -- call themselves MLB fans today, more now than at any point in the past 25 years, per SSRS/Luker's Trends Sports Poll research.

Major League Baseball's total attendance for the 2019 season was 68,494,752, and adding in Minor League games, the final number comes in at 109,998,829. The Dodgers led MLB in attendance for a seventh straight year, with a total of 3,974,309 fans in 2019.

Attendance for the first London Series between the Yankees and Red Sox was 59,659, the most attended international MLB game ever and the most attended MLB game anywhere since 2003. The London Series also sold more merchandise than any other MLB international event.

MLB's three national TV partners -- MLB on FOX, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball and MLB on TBS -- all saw increased viewership this year. The Regional Sports Networks that broadcast local games rank No. 1 in primetime on cable in 24 of the 25 MLB markets in the U.S. MLB's 13-game exclusive series of YouTube broadcasts averaged 1.2 million live views per game.

MLB.TV subscriptions also increased by 15 percent this season, and the MLB At Bat app was started over 2 billion times. From April through August, MLB's digital platforms averaged the most time spent per visitor of any U.S. sport. The same goes for MLB At Bat, which has been the most-downloaded U.S. sports league app in 2019.

Through the MLB Ballpark app, MLB sold a single-season record 1.19 million Ballpark Pass tickets to games this season.

On the field, baseball/softball participation grew to 25.6 million, making the sport the No. 1 team sport in the U.S. by participation for a third straight year.

MLB players' Instagram followers have grown by over 50 percent this season, and MLB's Instagram account has grown, too. The sport's younger fans are also playing games like Sony's MLB The Show and MLB's Home Run Derby mobile game more often.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.