MSG Network's broadcast of superstar Carmelo Anthony's debut with the New York Knicks yielded a 16-year high for the network in one arena. In its home New York market, the game posted the highest regular-season rating since the 1995 clash that had Michael Jordan dropping 55 points on the Knicks.
The "Melo" debut Wednesday posted a 6.75 household rating (507,285 homes) in New York -- 0.4% below the Jordan game. The rating also blew away the average for MSG games this year.
Melo's debut against Milwaukee also nearly doubled this season's single-game high for a Knicks game, which was a 3.61 household rating for a December game against Boston. Furthermore, Wednesday's outing had this season's highest number in the male 18-to-34 demo, which was more than double the previous high point.
The Wednesday ratings could be topped Sunday when MSG carries a game against Miami Heat, with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
Even with Anthony's help in boosting ratings on the lucrative MSG network, shareholders in the parent company, which owns MSG Network and the team, have not enjoyed the thrill. The company's stock has been down since the Monday trade, although up slightly Thursday in midday trading.
MSG network is in 11.5 million homes nationally, with a smaller subset in New York.