Ratings homer for Mets’ net

Team sees highest rating for a game since April 2002

The New York Mets’ decision to create a regional sports network in time for the 2006 season is looking more and more like a grand-slam home run.

On May 31, the Mets’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks chalked up 340,000 homes, the best audience delivery of the season and the highest rating for a Mets game since April 2002. Four years ago, Fox Sports New York paid the Mets an annual license fee to carry their games exclusively on local cable.

When the contract with Fox Sports came up for renewal, the team followed the lead of the New York Yankees, which established the YES network three years ago, and went off on its own.

The timing turned out to be exquisite because the Mets are off to their best start in years, riding high in first place in the National League East.

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