YES, Cablevision ready online streaming deal

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A few hours after the Yanks’ loss to the Rays on Saturday while many fans were away from their computers, Sports Business Journal broke a story of some significance to Yankee fans. Per a report by John Ourand and Eric Fisher, Cablevision is in line to become the first in-market cable company to stream baseball games live to certain subscribers.

The details are fairly straightforward:

The New York Yankees will become the first MLB team to have its games streamed live online within its home market, thanks to a landmark carriage deal YES Network signed with Cablevision earlier this spring.

The streamed games will begin later this season and will be available via subscription to Cablevision’s TV and broadband customers who subscribe to a tier that carries the YES Network, according to several baseball and cable industry sources.

The move is part of an overall renewal of Cablevision’s YES Network affiliation deal that was signed earlier this spring but never officially announced.

The pact also marks the first major effort within baseball for in-market streaming — an issue that has troubled the industry for years. Several clubs that hold equity interest in regional sports networks, such as the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, have pressed for in-market streaming to complement MLB.TV’s out-of-market online video package.

In the article, Ourand and Fisher go more in depth on the issues and hurdles. They note that that live Yankee games will be available through three sites now — and via the subscriptions and now Cablevision’s offering as well. They note too that this deal could be a breakthrough for teams and regional sports networks that have had to work through league revenue and broadcast rights plans to reach potential in-market streaming customers.

But don’t go out and cancel your cable subscriptions quite yet. While this deal is groundbreaking in the fact that it’s the first streaming deal outside of the MLB Advanced Media umbrella, Cablevision is making the games available only for customers who already subscribe to a cable TV package that includes the YES Network. Basically, those customers are simply getting what they have already paid for but through a different delivery system.

It will be interesting to see where this deal goes. It’s certainly a trend-setter, but until MLB and regional cable providers are offering the games live over the Internet but without a cable TV package, it won’t redefine how we watch baseball.

Bruney, Marte & Nady closer to returning
Ohlendorf on draft value: "On average, the player brought twice the return"
  • CP3

    Thats cool

  • Matt H

    So if you’re on vacation somewhere and can’t get YES, can you watch it on your laptop?

  • Simon B.

    I’m still not understanding this entirely. I guess you won’t be able to subscribe unless you’re already subscribed to a cable service that provides it?

    So if you don’t have a TV, you still can’t watch the Yankees online?

  • JimT

    Ben you hit the nail on the head when you spoke about streaming to your computer without cable obligations. That’s the future, how baseball teams get there and how they sort out billing is the trick. As Simon points out there are people that don’t even own a TV. They use thier computer as a primary soarce of entertainment. Baseball isn’t servicing those fans. For me I don’t have cable because I refuse to pay for the channels I don’t watch. If I could pay only for the programming I do care to watch (NESN- Red Sox)I would gladly pay a fair price even if it involved watching via computer.

    My gut is that as resession brings on somewhat more difficult times baseball teams will be foarced to look for new untraditional revenue streams and perhaps in the process become more consumer friendly.

  • Adam

    dammit got my hopes up… I go to Hamilton College in Clinton NY and Yes is not provided by the schools cable. It is a huge pain in the neck to try and watch yankee games in a tosn that does get YES already, but the school won’t pay for it.

    • Matt M.

      you should get your slingbox fixed bauer :-P

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