James Harden helping Nets beat Knicks in TV ratings war

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James Harden hasn’t faced the Knicks in his new Brooklyn uniform but he’s already beating them.

Harden was obtained in a blockbuster trade on Jan. 13, hours before the Nets played the Knicks at the Garden.

Since his Jan. 16 debut, the Nets on YES Network are outperforming the Knicks on MSG Network in viewership in the New York market, according to industry sources.

In their eight games on YES, the Nets are leading the Knicks by an average of 10 percent. The numbers factor in MSG Network and its spillover channel MSG Plus.

The Nets, since Harden’s first game, are averaging 122,000 viewers per game to the Knicks’ 111,000 viewers, based on Nielsen ratings, according to sources.

One potential factor hurting the Knicks’ numbers, besides the losing, is they were on the West Coast for four of their nine games since Jan. 16, meaning the start times were later in the evening.

The Nets have narrow leads in all demographics: ages 18-34 (25,000 vs. 20,000), 18-49 (56,000 vs. 53,000) and 25-54 (61,000 vs. 60,000).

In addition, the Knicks’ average viewership has dropped 13 percent since Harden’s arrival.

The Nets boast three future Hall of Famers in Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving while the Knicks don’t have an All-Star on the roster, though Julius Randle is making a strong push.

Since James Harden (r.) joined the Nets, they’re beating the Knicks in local TV ratings.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

In some ways, it’s surprising the numbers are even that close but it’s well-chronicled the Knicks’ fan base has been considered larger. The Knicks, who have lost five of six, are 9-13 while the Nets hold a 14-9 record – second place in the East..

The Nets announced Tuesday their viewership is up 67 percent on YES since the Harden trade.

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