When we first heard of YES and Cablevision offering streaming Yankees games in-market earlier this month, it was pretty exciting. As it stands, you cannot stream Yankees games via MLB.tv if you are in-market. It’s understandable, at least under normal circumstances. If MLB.tv allowed in-market broadcasts, I certainly wouldn’t have cable TV. That’s not only lost revenue for cable companies, but for YES and other stations, since cable companies pay them per subscriber. Of course, this new deal wasn’t coming without a catch: you have to be a Cablevision subscriber, using Cablevision Internet to access the broadcasts. So right away it’s not as awesome.
Today we learn of some further details on the deal. Right off the bat we get another downside: it’s going to cost you, to the tune of $49.95 for the rest of the 2009 season, or $19.94 for 30 days. If the experiment is successful and carries over into 2010, expect that to cost you $100 for the whole year. That is, of course, on top of your current TV and Internet bills.
While the price seems steep — especially if you’re already paying for MLB.tv on top of it — there are certainly some practical uses for it. For instance, my parents like to spend time together by watching movies three or four nights a week. Yet my dad, who is as die-hard a fan as they come, has to miss games because of this. If he were willing to pony up the $100 — which he is most certainly not — he could stream the game on his laptop while watching the movie. Best of both worlds.
Even so, I don’t foresee this plan being too popular. Beyond the desire to watch other program and the Yankees game at the same time, there aren’t too many practical uses for streaming video that’s already in TV while you’re in your house. Maybe the use of Optimum Wi-Fi will add to the draw, though most of the hotspots seem to be on Long Island (they’re in NJ at the train station, but how long are you going to be waiting at a train station during a Yankees game?).
Anyway, this all begins on July 8 for the Yankees-Twins game. You can learn more and sign up at Optimum.net. I’m truly interested to hear if anyone plans to purchase this package, and why.