The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that their local television ratings for the 2007-08 season have increased by an average of 22% over this same time last year.

Rogers Sportsnet has enjoyed a 46% lift in audiences in its first seven of 12 Raptors televised games, averaging 157,000 viewers per game. The Score is averaging 122,000 viewers per game, a 20% increase in audience size from November to January of last season. The channel has aired 19 of its 30 Raptors games so far this season. TSN’s average of 158,000 viewers per game represents a 6% increase, with 9 Raptors games remaining on its schedule.

The largest ratings gain was recognized by Raptors NBA TV which saw a 197% increase in ratings for its Raptors broadcasts. The basketball-themed sports network also added 700,000 new households to its subscription base from last year.

“The Raptors’ success on the court is starting to translate into success off the court in virtually all areas of our business, and certainly the significant growth in television audience reflects the ever-increasing interest in the team,” said Tom Anselmi, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment executive vice-president and chief operating officer.  “Our broadcast partners have done a great job of showcasing the tremendous excitement of Raptors basketball. We’re confident these numbers will continue to grow even more.”