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MLB Network off to a modest start in television ratings

The MLB Network has gotten strong reviews for its programming in the nearly 1 1/2 years since it launched, but it has yet to catch on as a huge TV attraction.

Sports Business Journal reported that in April, its first month as an officially Nielsen-rated channel, it averaged a modest 98,000 viewers in prime time.

That trailed the NFL Network's 132,000, Versus' 391,000 and ESPN's 1.733 million.

"We feel good about where we are," MLB Network president Tony Petitti told SBJ. "We're still new."

The network launched in about 50 million homes on Jan. 1, 2009.

MLBN's most-viewed program in April was . . . no surprise: a Yankees-Red Sox game on April 6. Average viewership: 350,000.

New York Sports