Perhaps proving the public will watch a car wreck — as long as there’s plenty of carnage — the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman writes that New York Knicks’ TV ratings are actually on the rise.

As of today, MSG has aired 55 Knicks games. The season-to-date ratings average is a 1.31, up 7% from the 1.22 average rating the Knicks recorded at the same point last season. Of course, the first-time-caller, long-time-morons in the house might not understand the significance of this.

And yet, included in all those quotes Wednesday from Garden boss Dolan, who admitted some critics might characterize him as “brain dead,” was one about Cablevision having its “best year ever as a corporation.” See, Guitar Jimmy is talking about the bottom line of an entire company, which MSG – its teams and networks – is a very small (maybe 5%) part of. As long as the Garden’s in the black, what’s another losing season?

If a team is going to lose, it’s better to go down in flames.

Do it on the back pages. Go down that lonesome toilet with maximum exposure. It sure beats being buried inside the sports section with, well, hockey stories.

By the way, the resurgent Rangers, heading for the playoffs, find their ratings through 43 games on MSG at 0.60, down 17% from the 0.72 registered at the same point in 2003-04.