NYI Fan Central Comments:
It is getting old reading the rhetoric from Mr Best on this so let's do what NYIFC does for it's readers and that's write the truth with as much documentation as we can provide.
First of all Mr Best outright lied to the public.
Newsday, Greg Logan are no longer independent sources of news about the New York Islanders both are now the paid employees of another NHL team whether he wants to tell you that or not.
We all know the background and history of Cablevision's tactics regarding New York Islander Hockey which Richard Sandomir wrote about in the Times back in 1998 here which speak for themselves.
This is where hockey was in New York back in 2002 according to Mr Sandomir's ratings information in the NY Times here at a time Islander hockey was hidden on Metro proving how much damage Cablevision has done to this hockey market in the time it gained a monopoly.
As for Mr Best claims of the Islanders limited fan base what were all those Islander fans doing at Msg chanting " You can't beat us " the last few years here along with several teams fans having access to Msg for years here.
A little Islanders-Sound Tigers Mailing List Action:
The 3/6/2001 NY Post game article from Larry Brooks who goes out of his way now to run down the Isles as a team as he claims no one in New York follows read as follows:
" No, in this 75th anniversary season the Rangers had to go even a step
farther and turn the Garden into Nassau Coliseum Mainland, as the
substantial number of Islander fans, who invaded Manhattan last night,
filled the arena with chants of "Let's Go Islanders!" as their team
whipped the heroic home boys by 5-2".
There have been countless games at Msg before the lockout at after the Garden sounded like the Islanders were the home team when they scored, it was this way
when Pierre Turgeon scored his 50th goal in overtime back in 93 and even back to the eighties which the Ranger fans in the media could never accept.
Rob Davison played his first Islander game at Msg in March and was quoted in Newsday as saying:
"When we scored it seemed half the Garden was rooting for the Islanders."
What was it Howie Rose said on television during the final game at Meadowlands when the Islanders scored?
"Welcome to Long Island South " Seems there are still plenty of New York Islander fans all over the New York metro area.
Of course that's something Newsday or life-long Ranger fan Neil Best simply would never write about.
Lets cut through Mr Best spin on ratings and popularity because his act has gotten old about things he should know better than anyone because one of his jobs is supposed to be reporting ratings.
I guess we have to do it for him.
As of February 2007 Ranger hockey on Msg was being watched in 36,834 homes on average in New York here with playoff ratings thirty eight percent below NASCAR and golf in NYC also according to Mr Sandomir in the Times here.
And this is with some fans of all three teams watching all the games which no one ever reports.
Daily News : Bob Raissman in April 2007 called Msg for it's spin on local hockey ratings as well and tells the politics of the story better than everyone along with noting where hockey ratings in this town stood at the beginning of the 2008 playoffs here and how the Avery sideshow was all they had.
A few other outlets picked on the NASCAR-Hockey New York angle as well a little later which was reported by none other than you guessed it, Neil Best here.
Sports Business Daily here also reports the 2007 New York playoff numbers on Msg were a twelve percent increase from the Ranger-Devil playoff series in 2005-06 for their return to the playoffs.
Rangers final game of last year's playoff on television drew a rating in NYC 1/3 of Boston-Atlanta game seven in basketball. Mike Francesa on WFAN the next day completely dismissed the Rangers and hockey as a major market sport in New York.
Bottom Line New York under Cablevision controlled Msg has produced some of the worst
national ratings for final games/all star games among so-called big hockey markets most of the papers did not even send a reporter to these events here which even Newsday sports editor Hank Winnicki discussed in the Globe & Mail here even though he does not touch the fact Ranger hockey should not even be covered in his sports section.
Even the Nets have draw far more ink in NYC and better ratings than the Rangers for several years along with backpages hockey never received since the lockout ended.
We get it Mr Best, your new employer pays a lot of money to regulate perception, keep teams off television and control ratings because it's scared to death of any competition. They have done a great job doing all they can to limit the Islander exposure that already pulled it's television coverage a decade ago at a time John Spano's Islanders had a higher television rating than the 2003-04 Rangers.
During the 2002 playoffs an Islander playoff game on Fsn drew a local rating equal to 200,000 homes. Mr Best new boss immediately put the next game on Metro which even Chris Russo called him on the next time Mr Dolan went on WFAN as he sat on YES Network and refused to answer with a big smile on his face.
Mr Best can do a blog and regulate the story, but what he is claiming simply is not true.
As usual, it seems up to NYIFC to set things straight.
Excuse me while I go watch game four of the 1981 semi-finals now that Cablevision ran the local hockey market for everyone into the ground.