Jeremy Lin is the Garden's new Michael Jordan as far as TV ratings are concerned.
Thanks to Linsanity, the last two MSG telecasts -- against the Hornets on Friday and against the Nets on Monday -- are now the highest-rated, regular-season games on the network since it began tracking household ratings in 1988. Friday night's telecast scored a 7.32 Nielsen household rating (540,788 households), which was topped last night with a 7.34 preliminary Nielsen household rating (542,265 households).
Those marks topped the previous regular-season high of a 6.78 HH, which occurred 17 years ago on March 28, 1995, when Jordan scored 55 points in his first game at the Garden after his first NBA retirement. The all-time record for any Knicks game is a 7.85 HH, which came during Game 6 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals when the Knicks defeated the Heat, 72-70, at home. The highest-rated event ever on MSG is Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, which delivered a 16.18 household rating.
Through the seven games in which Lin has been the starting point guard (not including Monday night), the Knicks' average household rating on MSG has increased 138 percent (4.30 HH; 317,676 households), compared to the previous 20 games (1.81 HH; 133,719 households).
“This is a basketball town and the Knicks’ recent performance, combined with Jeremy Lin's compelling story, has created unparalleled demand for these games," said Michael Bair, president of MSG Media, in a statement released by the Knicks. "With the Rangers in first place and the Giants coming off a Super Bowl win, this is a golden time for New York sports fans."
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