A-Rod's return boosts Yankees TV ratings

Alex Rodriguez's first major league game since October drew the YES Network's highest rating this year for a Yankees game, even though New York lost 8-1 at the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Game had 4.34 rating & averaged 393,000 viewers

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees during the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 5, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez's return had an immediate impact for the New York Yankees — on the team's television network.

A-Rod's first major league game since October drew the YES Network's highest rating this year for a Yankees game, even though New York lost 8-1 at the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

YES said Tuesday the game had a 4.34 rating and averaged 393,000 viewers. The previous high was 4.16 rating for a 2-1 loss at the New York Mets on May 27.

The most viewers were around the time of his first at-bat, with the 8:30 to 8:45 p.m. ET period drawing an 8.22 rating and 756,000 viewers.

Earlier Monday, Rodriguez was given a 211-game suspension through the 2014 season by Major League Baseball for violations of its drug agreement and labour contract. The ban starts Thursday, but Rodriguez can play until an arbitrator decides his appeal.

Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, was returning from hip surgery in January.