YES Network

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YES Network
YES Network logo.png
Launched March 19, 2002; 16 years ago (2002-03-19)
Network Fox Sports Networks
Owned by
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
(HD feed downscaled to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
Slogan The Home of Champions
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area New York metropolitan area
Nationwide (via satellite)
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut
Sister channel(s)
Website yesnetwork.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 631 (HD/SD)
YES (overflow):
633-1 (HD)
633 (SD)
Cable
Altice Optimum (most areas) 70 (SD/HD)
Altice Optimum (Brooklyn and The Bronx) 89 (SD/HD)
Charter Communications (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) 52 and 321 (SD)
753 (HD)
Comcast (New York metropolitan area) 844/1254 (HD)
Various (SD)
RCN (Manhattan and Queens) 372 (SD)
686 (HD)
Verizon FiOS
(New York metropolitan area)
76 (SD)
576 (HD)
Verizon FiOS
(all other markets)
95 (SD)
595 (HD)
Available on some other U.S. cable systems Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability
IPTV
Frontier U-verse 1702 (HD)
Streaming media
Fox Sports Go www.foxsportsgo.com/
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from participating providers to stream content; some events may not be available due to league rights restrictions)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television
PlayStation Vue Internet Protocol television
YouTube TV Internet Protocol television

The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES), business entity name: Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, LLC, is an American cable and satellite television regional sports network that is owned by 21st Century Fox (which owns a controlling 80% interest and serves as managing partner) and Yankee Global Enterprises (which owns the remaining 20%). Primarily serving New York City, New York and the surrounding metropolitan area, it broadcasts a variety of sports events, as well as magazine, documentary and discussion programs; however, its main emphasis is focused on games and team-related programs involving the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (owned by minority partner Yankee Global), the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and New York City FC of Major League Soccer.

YES Network's offices are based at the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan. YES programs, including Yankees and Nets pre- and post-game shows, are produced in studios that are located in Stamford, Connecticut.[1] The channel is available on cable and IPTV providers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania; it is available nationally on some cable systems (as part of a designated sports tier), via satellite on DirecTV, and regionally on Frontier U-verse, Verizon FiOS and Cox Communications.

History

YES is the product of a holding company founded in 1999 called YankeeNets, created out of a merger of the business operations of the Yankees and the New Jersey Nets. One of the reasons behind the operational merger was to allow both teams to gain better leverage over their own broadcast rights; each party believed that it would obtain better individual deals, if they negotiated the rights collectively.

Two years earlier in 1997, Cablevision – which at the time had owned the Nets' television broadcaster, SportsChannel New York (later known as Fox Sports Net New York, and now known as MSG Plus) – became the sole owner to the television rights of all seven Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL teams in the New York City market when it acquired the competing MSG Network (previously owned by Viacom through its 1994 purchase of the network's former parent Paramount Communications), which had held the broadcast rights to the Yankees since 1989. This led to monopoly-like tactics, including the shift of some games to the cable-exclusive MSG Metro Channels, which had very limited distribution as Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable routinely fought over carriage agreements. Cablevision attempted to buy the Yankees outright, but could not agree to acceptable terms with George Steinbrenner and his partners.

To exit its MSG/Cablevision deal, the Yankees would have to give them the right to match any new right agreement and show a judge that a third party was willing to purchase their rights and launch a channel. Thus, Schiller hired IMG for an evaluation of a YankeeNets sport channel. IMG came back with an offer to partner on the channel with a guaranteed rights fees of $838 million.[2] In 2000, YankeeNet and IMG proposed a forming a sports channel valued as high as $2.4 billion. Cablevision sued considering its valuing as "outlandish" to block the channel. In April 2001, the suite was settled such that in June 2001, YankeeNet paid to MSG to have the Yankee's TV right returned to them. IMG had been replaced by other investors, Goldman, Sachs & Company, the Quadrangle Group, Leo Hindery Jr., chief executive of the network, and Amos Hostetter Jr., a billionaire cable veteran, who in total had a 40% share of the channel.[3]

In late 2003, the Yankees and Nets decided to part ways, with the Nets being sold to a group led by real estate developer Bruce Ratner. The sale did not include the Nets' ownership stake in YES (NJ Holdings), which remained with the pre-merger owners of the team. As part of the sale, the Nets signed a long-term deal to keep the team's game telecasts on YES. In 2004, YankeeNets was renamed Yankee Global Enterprises, which owns the Yankees and YES as separate companies.[4] Therefore, the Yankees technically do not own YES. The Yankees, however, receive a rights fee from YES that is somewhat higher than MSG previously paid.

In 2007, Goldman Sachs' and former Nets owner Ray Chambers' share in the network was put up for sale.[5] In November 2012, News Corporation agreed to terms on acquiring a 49% stake in YES. As a consequence, each of the network's previous owners had their ownership stakes reduced. As a result of the sale to Fox, the Yankees agreed to keep their games on the network through 2041, which would be the network's 40th year of existence.[6] News Corporation's interest in YES was transferred to 21st Century Fox (owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also remained the owner of News Corporation), when the former company spun off its U.S. entertainment holdings into a separate company in July 2013.

Fox Sports Networks channel

In September 2013, YES began carrying national programming primarily intended for distribution to the Fox Sports regional networks, assuming the regional television rights to those programs from MSG Plus. On January 25, 2014, 21st Century Fox became the network's majority owner by purchasing an additional 31% share of YES Network, increasing the company's ownership interest from 49% to 80%.[7]

In 2014, the YES Network announced an average 223,000 households in Yankees game broadcasts.[8] On May 14, 2017, YES Network aired Derek Jeter's number retirement ceremony. It got an average 724,000 viewers and a 5.79 rating in the New York City area, the highest non-game program for the network.[9]

On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire 21st Century Fox following the divestiture of certain assets. This deal would include the regional Fox Sports Networks and the stake in YES, which would likely be aligned with Disney's ESPN division if completed.[10] In June 2018, Comcast (who is a stakeholder in SportsNet New York) made a counter-offer. Bloomberg News reported that the sale of stakes in YES to Fox contained a clause giving the Yankees rights to buy them back in the event of a change in ownership, and that the Yankees were considering invoking this clause.[11]

Programming

Original programming

In addition to live coverage of Yankees and Nets games, their respective pre-game and post-game shows and (as circumstances warrant) live press conferences, YES has produced various original programs, some of which have won local New York Emmy Awards. Other original programming featured on YES includes:

  • Boston vs. New York Poker Challenge – a poker tournament matching Yankee fans against Boston Red Sox fans. Airing for two seasons, it was a co-production of YES and Boston-based regional sports channel New England Sports Network (NESN).
  • CenterStage – a weekly program hosted by Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay, featuring in-depth interviews with various celebrities.
  • The Michael Kay Show – a video simulcast of the radio show from ESPN Radio affiliate WEPN-FM (98.7 FM), featuring Michael Kay and Don La Greca.
  • Forbes SportsMoney – a financial magazine program produced as a joint venture between YES and Forbes, focusing on the financial aspects of the sports industry.
  • Homegrown: The Path to Pinstripes – a reality show that showcases the development of future Yankees players on their Class-AAA team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders.
  • The Mike Francesa Show – a video simulcast of the popular WFAN (660 AM) radio show Mike's On with host Mike Francesa (2008-2015). YES also simulcasted Francesa's nationally syndicated radio show The NFL Now under the title Football Sunday with Mike Francesa.
  • Nets Magazine – a weekly program featuring news, analysis and feature segments focusing on the Brooklyn Nets.
  • Yankees Classics – rebroadcasts of marquee New York Yankees games from previous years.
  • Yankees Magazine – a weekly program featuring news, analysis and feature segments focusing on the Yankees.
  • Yankeeography – a Biography-style program focusing on notable current and former Yankees personalities.
  • Yankees on Deck (formerly Kids on Deck) – a children's program in which younger Yankee fans are given an inside look at what it is like to be a member of the Yankee organization.
  • Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game – a reality series based around Yankee-related, and other baseball and sports memorabilia; co-produced by Yankees-Steiner Collectibles, a joint venture of the Yankees and Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia.
  • YES' Ultimate Road Trip (2005–2007) – a reality show that combined elements of The Real World and Road Rules, following a group of Yankee fans following the team around the country throughout an entire 162-game season.
  • Yogi and a Movie – A showcase of sports movies featuring wraparound commentary segments hosted by Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra.

Minor league baseball and college sports

Since the network's debut, YES has aired select telecasts of the Yankees' minor league farm teams, primarily the Class-A (short season) Staten Island Yankees of the New York–Penn League. Those games are produced by YES, utilizing the same graphics and announcers as seen during game telecasts of the major league Yankees.

From 2002 to 2006, YES also broadcast games from the Yankees' former Class-AAA team, the Columbus Clippers of the International League. Those games were produced locally in Columbus, Ohio. After the 2006 season, the Yankees ended their affiliation with the Clippers, and became affiliated with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (formerly the Yankees and Red Barons). YES has only televised one Railriders game, Masahiro Tanaka's minor league rehab start, the team also has local coverage within its Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.

The network has also broadcast various college sports events including football and basketball games from the Ivy League, basketball games from the Big 12 Conference (through ESPN Plus) and rebroadcasts of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football games. It also carries the coaches' shows of Notre Dame and the Penn State Nittany Lions. In 2011, YES began airing live broadcasts of college basketball games involving the Fordham University. As part of the formation of its programming deal with Fox Sports Networks, in September 2013, YES began broadcasting select FSN-produced college sports events intended for national broadcast on its regional sports networks, including football and basketball games from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Relationships with New York Giants and Manchester United

In 2000, YankeeNets entered into a marketing agreement with the New York Giants; this included awarding YES the exclusive rights to the NFL franchise's magazine programs (including Giants Online and Giants on Deck, which continued to air on the network after the YankeeNets breakup). The Giants' relationship with YES Network ended in 2007, at which time its team-related programming moved to Fox owned-and-operated station WNYW (channel 5) and MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV (channel 9), a duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations (whose sister company, the Fox network, owns broadcast rights to most games from the Giants home conference, the National Football Conference).[12]

YankeeNets also maintained a similar relationship with English football club Manchester United. YES broadcast tape-delayed and classic United games produced by the team-owned Manchester United TV in the network's earlier days.

Other sports programming

The YES Network also produces Yankees game broadcasts shown over-the-air on WPIX-TV, using the same on-air talent seen on the cable network. From 2002 to 2004, WCBS-TV (channel 2) carried the Yankees broadcasts, while WLNY-TV (channel 55) held the local broadcast television rights to the Nets. The Yankees package is also simulcast on other television stations in the team's designated market region.

YES also offers a Spanish-language feed of all of its Yankees game telecasts through the second audio program; this feed can also be heard on New York radio station WNSW (AM), which holds the contract to carry the Yankees' Spanish-language broadcasts.

The network attempted to secure television rights to the New Jersey Devils, formerly owned by an affiliate of YankeeNets; after the team was sold to a different ownership group, the Devils opted to renew their contract with MSG Network and FSN New York in 2005, under a long-term agreement.

YES broadcasts NBA TV's daily news and fantasy basketball shows (usually in the form of rebroadcasts, but occasionally showing live telecasts in the early morning drive time hours) and The Marv Albert Show. For a couple of years during the early 2000s, YES and NBA TV also both aired reruns of the basketball-centered drama series The White Shadow. The network also previously aired This Week in Baseball during the week throughout the Major League Baseball regular season, following each episode's original Saturday broadcast on Fox.

As part of a multi-year agreement with MP & Silva, YES aired tape delayed broadcasts of Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches involving Arsenal F.C.. In addition to airing Arsenal matches, the network aired select archived match telecasts, as well as the team's magazine shows, Arsenal World and Arsenal 360. This agreement ended at the start of the 2012–13 Premier League season. Arsenal would get picked up by ONE World Sports while YES would gain partnership with Manchester City FC.

In December 2014, YES announced it had acquired local broadcast rights to New York City FC of Major League Soccer, a subsidiary of Manchester City FC; Yankee Global Enterprises owns a 20% minority stake in the club, which is majority-owned by City Football Group.[13][14]

On-air staff

Current on-air staff

  • David Cone – Yankees game analyst
  • Jack Curry – Yankees studio analyst/fill-in clubhouse reporter
  • Ian Eagle – lead play-by-play broadcaster for Nets games
  • John Flaherty – Yankees game analyst
  • Mike Fratello – Nets studio analyst
  • Ian Joy - NYCFC game analyst
  • Michael Kay – lead play-by-play broadcaster for Yankees games; host of CenterStage; host of "The Michael Kay Show" simulcast on YES
  • Sarah Kustok – Brooklyn Nets primary game analyst/fill-in Yankees sideline and clubhouse reporter
  • Don La Greca – co-host of "The Michael Kay Show" simulcast on YES
  • Al Leiter – Yankees game analyst
  • Bob Lorenz – lead studio host/fill-in play-by-play
  • Meredith Marakovits – Yankees sideline and clubhouse reporter
  • Gary Myers – co-host of This Week in Football
  • Nancy Newman – studio host and host of Yankees Magazine
  • Paul O'Neill – Yankees game analyst
  • Peter Rosenberg – co-host of "The Michael Kay Show" simulcast on YES
  • Ryan Ruocco – host of This Week in Football; alternate play-by-play voice for Brooklyn Nets; back-up Yankees studio host/sideline and clubhouse reporter
  • Chris Shearn – producer/on-air wrap-around host of The Michael Kay Show; host of Yankees Batting Practice Today; sideline reporter for college game broadcasts
  • Ken Singleton – Yankees game analyst/alternate play-by-play
  • Jim Spanarkel – Nets game/studio analyst
  • John Sterling – host of Yankeeography and Yankees Classics
  • Joe Tolleson - lead play-by-play broadcaster for NYCFC matches

Since the network's launch in 2002, longtime Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard has served as a continuity announcer for YES' network identifications and programming schedules. Recordings of Sheppard are still used occasionally even though Sheppard died in 2010. Ian Eagle also sometimes provides continuity for on-air promotions during the Nets season.

Former on-air staff

Related services

YES2

YES2 is a gametime-only overflow feed of YES Network, which broadcasts select Nets games on rare occasions when the Nets and Yankees are scheduled to play at the same time. The feed is carried in both standard and high definition on most cable providers in the New York metropolitan area and nationwide on DirecTV.

YES Network HD

YES HD.jpg

YES Network HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast feed of the network, which is carried on select cable providers (including Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision, DirecTV, RCN and Verizon FiOS). As of 2015, YES is currently one of only three networks owned by YES majority owner 21st Century Fox (alongside regional sports networks Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio; all three were acquisitions rather than Fox-launched networks) that transmit their HD simulcasts in 1080i, rather than the company's preferred 720p format.

When it launched in mid-July 2004, YES HD initially only televised all Yankees home games, as well as away games involving the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, in high definition. In 2005, YES began televising all Yankees games played east of the Mississippi River in high definition, with the network's HD telecasts expanding to encompass virtually all of the Yankees and Nets games in 2006. In addition to game telecasts, the network now also broadcasts all of its studio shows in HD. All YES-produced Yankees and Nets game telecasts aired on WWOR-TV began broadcasting in HD in September 2006; however while the HD feed of the games is available to these outlets, the HD telecasts were not necessarily distributed to television stations outside of the New York City area that simulcast WWOR's game broadcasts.

In April 2007, YES converted the aspect ratio of its primary standard definition feed from full-screen to a letterboxed 4:3 format, which is a downconversion from the 16:9 high definition feed. The network's use of the AFD #10 broadcast flag to transmit its HD feed in this manner for broadcast in SD predates its use by other national cable networks such as Fox News Channel, ESPN and CNN.

YES Network borrowed time on Cablevision's "iO TV 1300" service and on DirecTV to carry the first baseball game ever transmitted in 3D on July 10 and 11, 2010, when the Yankees faced the Seattle Mariners; the 3D telecast of the game was also distributed to other cable providers.

National feed

YES Network maintains a national feed available to select cable providers outside of the New York City market – including Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS (in certain markets) and Bright House Networks[15] (on its systems in Tampa and Orlando). The feed does not include the network's live game telecasts (with alternate programming airing in their place), however it does carry the pre-game and post-game shows that bookend Yankees and Nets games aired by YES within the market. This feed differs from the satellite feed of the network available on DirecTV, in which Yankees and/or Nets games can be viewed outside of the teams' markets through a subscription to MLB Extra Innings and/or NBA League Pass.

Controversies

Carriage disputes

At its launch, YES became embroiled in a carriage dispute with Cablevision (which attempted to purchase the Yankees in 1998 and carried the team's games on MSG Network at the time of the channel's launch), leaving the Yankees' game telecasts not available to the provider's game telecasts for an entire year; this led the New York state government to intervene and serve as negotiator for a temporary carriage agreement between YES and Cablevision. In 2004, the two sides eventually signed a long-term contract to carry the network on Cablevision's New York area systems. This situation was very similar to another lengthy dispute that Cablevision entered into with MSG Network, after that network assumed the regional cable television rights to the Yankees in 1989 from Cablevision-owned SportsChannel New York.

Dish Network remains[when?] the only pay television provider available in the New York City area that does not carry YES Network. The satellite provider has indicated that it would not offer the network unless it negotiates a lower per-channel subscriber fee due to concerns that the rates the network offered could force the provider to increase the pricing of its programming packages.[16] YES, however, has a most favored nation clause with all of its cable and satellite providers, in which all of the network's other carriage agreements would be voided if it lowered its subscriber rate for a single provider. Former YES minority owner Goldman Sachs also maintains an ownership stake in Dish Network parent Echostar.

Time Warner Cable relocated YES from channel 30 to channel 53 on its New York City area systems in March 2008, soon after the New York City Council approved a measure to provide the Yankees public funding to build a new stadium. Simultaneously, Time Warner Cable moved business news channel Bloomberg Television to YES' former channel 30 slot, all while renegotiating its ten-year contract with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (owner of Bloomberg Television parent Bloomberg L.P.) and the city of New York.[17]

In 2016, Comcast (who are part owners of Sportsnet New York) dropped the YES Network.[18] The blackout ended on March 31, 2017, just in time for the start of the 2017 New York Yankees season.[19]

Coverage issues

In 2003, Don Zimmer (then employed with the Yankees as a bench coach) expressed criticism of team owner George Steinbrenner in interviews with certain local media outlets. After this came to light, it was later rumored that, in response, Steinbrenner ordered YES not to show Zimmer on-camera during its Yankee telecasts.

In April 2005, YES declined to broadcast pre-game Opening Day festivities celebrating the Boston Red Sox' 2004 World Series championship win prior to its telecast of a Red Sox home game against the Yankees at Fenway Park. YES was roundly criticized for this move, including its decision to use a fixed camera shot focused tightly on correspondent Kimberly Jones as she described the events surrounding her in general terms. Yankees players not only witnessed the ceremonies, but graciously applauded them from the top steps of their dugout.[20] Perhaps due to this incident, YES broadcast the majority of the ceremonies honoring the Red Sox' celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park in 2012.

During the 2005 season, New York City area newspapers reported that the post-game questions asked to Yankees manager Joe Torre by Kimberly Jones were being sent to her by top-level team executives (quite possibly on directives from George Steinbrenner), and that Torre did not feel comfortable answering them. For the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Torre, who had been paid a fee by YES to give exclusive interviews after each Yankees game, ended his agreement with the network. YES now sends its reporter to the regular pre-game and post-game media sessions with other broadcast outlets.

Notes

  1. ^ "We Are the Champions". Business New Haven. October 17, 2005. 
  2. ^ Mickle, Tripp (March 11, 2013). "An American Original". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved July 2, 2018. 
  3. ^ Sandomir, Richard (September 11, 2001). "YankeeNets Getting Own Cable Network". New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2018. 
  4. ^ "YankeeNets owners complete deal to separate". ESPN.com. AP. March 24, 2004. Retrieved July 2, 2018. 
  5. ^ Jon Birger (August 2, 2007). "The dismantling of the Yankee empire". CNN Money. Turner Broadcasting System. 
  6. ^ Darren Rovell (November 20, 2012). "News Corp. acquires stake in YES". ESPN. ESPN. 
  7. ^ "21st Century Fox Acquires Majority Control of YES Network". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. January 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Yankees games get 15% increase in viewership on YES Network; Derek Jeter to thank?". NJ.com. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2018-07-03. 
  9. ^ AP (2017-05-15). "Nearly 1 million tune in to watch Derek Jeter's speech". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-07-03. 
  10. ^ "ESPN acquires regional sports networks in Fox-Disney deal". SI.com. Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  11. ^ "Yankees Consider Buying Back YES If Fox Sells Assets". Bloomberg.com. 2018-06-14. Retrieved 2018-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Special Features – Story – 8.2 Fox 5 and My9 Expand Relationship – Giants.com". New York Giants. 
  13. ^ "New York City Football Club and YES Network reach multi-year agreement". YES Network. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "New York City FC matches televised on YES Network? Yankees ownership stake will bring synergies". Major League Soccer. May 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Yankee Global YES Network comes to Bright House Networks". Tampa Bay Business Journal. American City Business Journals. April 1, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Echostar's Dish Network is lone holdout in Cablevision, YES Network". Long Island Business News. March 28, 2003 – via FindArticles.com. 
  17. ^ Wayne Barrett (September 1, 2009). "Bloomberg Keeps His Billions Separate From His Mayoral Obligations? Yeah, Right!". The Village Voice. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ Lieberman, David (2016-03-10). "Comcast And YES Network Play Hardball As Baseball Season Approaches". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-07-03. 
  19. ^ YES Network officially has a return date to Comcast after long blackout New York Daily News, February 28, 2017
  20. ^ Richard Sandomir (April 12, 2005). "Boston Holds Its Party, but YES Just Says No". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official Information On YES HD
  • LyngSat Entry


Preceded by
MSG Network
1989–2001
Over-the-air (cable)
Home of the
New York Yankees
2002–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
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