MSGN to YES: Not So Fast

Madison Square Garden Network officials said no to YES Tuesday.

Officials at Cablevision Systems Corp.’s regional sports network disputed claims put forth by Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network that Sunday night’s 2005 Major League Baseball season opener between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees was the highest-rated live sporting event on an area regional.

YES proclaimed Monday that the 11.6 average household rating for the Yanks-Sox game April 3 between 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m. was the highest-rated live game ever by a regional sports network in the New York DMA. According to Nielsen Media Research data, the game averaged some 1.2 million viewers between 8 p.m.-11 p.m.

MSGN Tuesday looked to ice YES’ Nielsen boast. An MSGN spokeswoman said National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals game seven between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers June 14, 1994, pulled a 16.2 household rating in the New York DMA.

The contest -- in which the “Broadway Blue Shirts” ended a 54-year Cup drought -- averaged 1.66 million viewers, according to MSGN.