Bloomberg News

Knicks’ TV Audience Dips as Lin-Led Team Starts Second Half of NBA Season

March 02, 2012

The Jeremy Lin-led New York Knicks drew their smallest television audience on MSG Network in four games during their 120-103 home win against the Cleveland Cavaliers two nights ago.

The rating for the game still was more than twice as high as when Lin took over as the team’s starting point guard in early February.

The Knicks-Cavaliers game was seen in an average of 6.08 percent of homes in the New York metropolitan area, Brian Fisher, a spokesman for the Madison Square Garden Co. network, said yesterday in an e-mail.

The team drew a 6.46 rating on Feb. 22, when it played the Atlanta Hawks; a 7.34 rating on Feb. 20 for a game versus the New Jersey Nets, and a 7.32 rating on Feb. 17, when the Knicks played the New Orleans Hornets.

The Cleveland game marked the first time on MSG, which dates back to the 1988-89 season, that Knicks telecasts drew ratings of 6 or higher for four straight contests. Ratings are based on the average number of homes in the New York metropolitan area watching the game.

In the 10 games on MSG since Lin, a former bench-warmer who twice was cut by other NBA teams, moved into the starting lineup on Feb. 6, Knicks telecasts are averaging a 5 rating, almost three times higher than the first 20 games of the season. Lin’s first start drew a 2.68 rating.

Lin, a 23-year-old Harvard University graduate, scored 19 points and handed out 13 assists, turning the ball over once, as the Knicks rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to beat the Cavaliers. Carmelo Anthony scored a team-high 22 points for the Knicks (18-18), who were 8-15 before Lin took over the lead point-guard role.

The Knicks are tied with the Boston Celtics for second place in the Eastern Conference’s five-team Atlantic Division, three games behind the Philadelphia 76ers. New York’s next four games are on the road, starting with a contest March 4 at Boston.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.


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