YES Scores Big With Yankees Telecasts

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The New York Yankees may not have played their best before the All-Star break, but the sports network that carries their games says it recorded the best first half ever for a New York-based regional with baseball.

YES averaged a 4.52 household rating and 435,000 total viewers in the New York DMA through games of July 13, according to Nielsen Media Research data, marking a 3.2% increase over its 4.38 household average for the first half of the 2007 Major League Baseball season with Bronx Bombers games.

On the demo side, YES rang up gains in men 18+, men 18 to 34, men 18 to 49, persons 18 to 34 and persons 18 to 49, said YES officials.

Fueling the growth were the last 16 games leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic: each of YES’s telecasts of the Yanks ranked first in their time periods over that stretch.

The June 27 telecast was perhaps the most notable of the season to date. It scored a 5.7 household rating and 533,000 viewers, making it the second-highest-rated regular season Subway Series on a New York RSN and marking the first time such a service topped the rating of an over-the-air channel covering the same contest: the New York Mets’s affiliate CW11 earned a 5.2 rating and 494,000 viewers;  

Other notable telecasts: the June 8 game against Kansas City pulled a 6.5 rating and 621,000 viewers, the second best ever for a non-Red Sox weekend contest; the June 5 encore of the day game, featuring Jason Giambi’s walk-off homer versus the Toronto Blue Jays, was the network’s best with a 1.8 rating and 164,000 viewers; and the April 1 opener against the Jays scored a 7.4 rating and 766,000, the second highest-rated debut on broadcast or cable dating back to 1995, according to network officials.

YES officials said the service was the most-watched RSN in the country during the first half of 2008. During primetime from Dec. 31, 2007 through June 30, the network averaged 81,000 TV households in the New York DMA and 31,000 in total day, to finish ahead of NESN’s respective 72,000 and 24,000 averages in those dayparts.

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