DirecTV’s deal with YES Network expires today

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Yankees fans nearly faced a cataclysmic situation last fall. FOX, which had exclusive broadcast rights for the World Series, was involved in a contract spat with Cablevision, which serves millions of customers in the tri-state area. Thankfully for Yanks fans, the ALCS was broadcast on TBS. But had the Yankees advanced to the World Series, those fans might have been blacked out, as Fox pulled its programming from the cable carrier. The two parties averted disaster, though the point became moot when the Yankees were eliminated.

The situation now facing DirecTV customers will affect Yankees fans on a greater level. While the World Series is the main event, as the Yankees showed last year, it doesn’t matter much if you don’t get there. The regular season, though, goes 162 games whether there’s a broadcast or not. Today the agreement between DirecTV and YES Network expired, leaving those Yankees fans in limbo. Could they possibly miss a portion of the regular season because the two parties can’t reach a new deal?

The two sides have had their says in the matter. Says DirecTV: “DirecTV customers should not be forced to pay a penny more for YES Network.” The company claims that YES is seeking a fee “significantly higher” than it receives from other cable providers. A YES spokesman says, “We are negotiating in good faith with DirecTV in hopes of resolving this matter quickly.”

This current incident brings to mind a nearly decade-old dispute between, surprise-surprise, Cablevision and the YES Network. When the network debuted in 2002, Cablevision did not carry it. The Yankees had previously been broadcast on MSG, which is owned by Cablevision. Only government intervention brought the two parties together.

It is not clear whether the two parties have made any progress in the matter. DirecTV says they will keep the station alive during negotiations, but YES could opt to pull it. It’s unfortunate to see these kinds of disputes, since it ultimately hurts the consumer in the end. Still, it could be worse. You could be a Dish Network subscriber. That carrier has never broadcast the YES Network.

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  • HulkHeyman

    I wish this was a prank.

  • elvin

    I have timewarner cable :)

    • Benjamin Kabak

      The only time of year you should be happy to have Time Warner.

      • ROBTEN

        I have to say, after moving to the mid-west, I sincerely miss Time Warner. The options out here are terrible.

  • robert

    why should I email directtv when its the yes network thats being the jerks

    • elvin

      You are right lol

    • Chris

      Are you sure that it’s the YES network’s fault?

  • A.D.

    Interesting given that there probably quite a few DirectTv subscribers that are only there because of that initial spat with Cablelvision for YES

    • Yank the Frank

      I am one of those. I like DirecTV, I have already emailed them and called them voicing my displeasure. I don’t care whose fault it is, just get it done.
      I have nine TV’s hooked up to one HD dish so I am somewhat committed or should be committed.

    • Edzoo77

      I’m one of those ex cablevision viewers who went to DIRECTV back in 2002. Seems like dejavu all over again!! I live in Texas now and can only get the YES games on MLB EXTRA INNINGS!

  • NYinSF

    Robert, look at the top of this page. Of course they only provided DirectTV’s contact information.

    • Andy in NYC

      Riiight, because RAB has never ever criticized Yes or the Yankees.
      :: rolls eyes ::

  • Brian in NH

    I imagine this is terrible for yankees fans if you lose YES. I never had it so I don’t know. But I imagine the uproar in this area if they stopped carrying NESN. Riots in the streets.

  • Beamish

    I would pay $10/month for a direct internet stream of just the YES Network. That would be higher than their current per subscriber fee by 2x to 4x. I have no desire to watch any other channel on cable or satellite TV (which is why I currently have neither and listen to the radio broadcast like it was 1943)

    Roku should get on this.

    • @coffeewithian

      That’s not going to happen. YES and other RSNs make their money from being on basic tiers, and therefore forcing non-fans to pay for YES along with the fans.

      If only Yankee fans paid for YES, it would have to be a significantly high fee to match what they’re making now.

      The thing about this dispute that I’m angry about was that it was not announced until yesterday, opening day of the Baseball season.

      I do hope that the Yankees on YES streaming package comes to DirecTV subscribers as a result of a new deal.

      • Yank the Frank

        I heard rumblings about this a few months ago but forgot about it until it was announced during yesterday’s game.
        Neither side was making this too public.

    • guy

      I’m glad I cancelled my MLB and sports pkg with directv, and picked up (which is only $20/month during the season — for 6 months). So far, the picture quality isn’t up to directv hi def standards, but better than yes at 480i. I’ve saved @12/month on the sports pkg (to get high def yes), and $200 for the mlb-ticket pkg.
      plus can be played on my roku or pc.
      (btw — I like the stationary — and soundless! — photograph ad that is on the screen during the regular broadcast commercials.)

      not a perfect solution — but, it works for me.

      • TJ

        I tried that last year and it did not work out well. I did like the option of watching the sped up version of the games (forget what they called it again). Baseball looks much better on the big screen and the switch to the computer did not cut it. If you sign up for extra innings and then threaten to cancel it because you don’t watch it very much then they cut the price to $125 from $200.

  • Jesus the Saviour

    I swear if they don’t agree by today I’m going to be pissed

  • Double-J

    Switched to Verizon FiOS last year from DirecTV because of cost, and while I’m generally unhappy with their service, horrible DVR boxes (which are better suited to being paperweights than a functioning piece of consumer electronics), and picture quality (I definitely had less pixelation/compression with DirecTV, which surprised me), I’m happy that I won’t lose my YES. Hopefully this is sorted out soon.

    Still, I’m definitely going back to DirecTV when my FiOS contract is up. No comparison, in my mind at least.

  • Pat D

    Hmm. I thought it expired effective today. Because I made sure the channel was still on, and it is. There was Francesa talking to callers.

    What I still wonder is this: In order to see the games, where I live, we still have to get the Extra Innings package. Now if YES gets removed, even temporarily, will the games still be broadcast through Extra Innings? If so, will it just be the other team’s feed?

    Jeez, just get a deal done, idiots.

    • Pat D

      OK, yea, just click on the link provided in the article and get the answer. Yea, maybe I’ll do that next time.

      You idiot, Pat.

  • Cuso

    So I live in a community where “only” DirecTV is available. I know it’s ridiculous, but one of the main reason I’ve remained is that of my 60 channels that I get through the community satellite, YES is one of them. I don’t get HD, I don’t get 900 channels, but I get to see my Yankees coverage here in Jacksonville, Florida.

    You money-grubbing bastards better get your shit together.

    This stinks of Randy Levine. Rosy-faced, limp-d!cked f*ckhead.

    • Pounder

      Don’t hold back,tell us how you really feel.

  • DJ

    I’ve been a Yankees die-hard for over 50 years, it sickens to see what this franchise has turned into. Put quite simply, an outlandishly greedy money machine. What also sickens me is all the empty seats arond home plate & dugouts game after game, even on opening day. I think we all know why.

    Well here’s the latest ploy, YES is shaking down DirecTV. Gee what a surprise! They’ve squeezed every last dime out of the fans who could barely afford a ticket.

    I realize it is a business, let’s see how thin the fan base gets.

    It’s a real travesty!

    • Zack

      The fan base will get thin when they stop being competitive.

  • Ernest

    I’ve loved the Yankees all my life and only loved DirecTV ever since I got installed in my house. However, sorry YES. If you can’t figure out how to give DirecTV a fair deal, you’ll just have to do without my business till you do. YES, you may be a big player for a sports network, but you are by far not the only player. A good number of people who say they’ll get rid of DirecTV will come crawling back once the NFL starts up again (and it will and we all know it). And DirecTV has by far more popular viewing options for my dollar than any cable system I’ve come across. So YES, if you want to go dark in my house, be my guest. I always have the radio to listen to the Yankee games. You’ll never be strong enough to tear me away from my DirecTV.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I have Directv in Sarasota, Fla. I purchased the Fla. sports package just to receive the Yes channel. I don’t bother to watch the other channels. Also, I have to purchase MLB Extra Innings to get the games because the Yes channel would be blocked out without the extra innings. So, I spend about $300 for Yankee baseball. The same price that it costs me for two tickets in the shade near the press box with fees when I make a long weekend to NYC. We can’t win add a dollar or two per month to the package and leave us alone.

    If Yes goes black then I’ll have to watch the feed from the other teams perspective. If you have had the pleasure of listing to the Royals announcers try to make their team sound big league, you’ll get my drift. Some times other teams don’t cover the games then what do you do?

    Come on Yankees raise the price of the $15 steak sandwich to $16 who’ll notice?

    • TJ

      Gotta pay those million dollar contracts somehow. Just horrible how economics have ruined a baseball outing. Nothing like a $20 beer and hotdog. These days I prefer to shop at costco for those things and watch the games at home. Then again I live in California so I only see the Yanks at most once a year and have to put up with awful Angel fans. Although last year they sure were quiet!

  • poppop22

    when i lived in the Phoenix area I was a directv subscriber. I noticed they offered a sports package for like 12.95 that included the Yes network, so I added the package. After the first week I didnt get to see one Yankee game, they were all blacked out. I called directv to complain and they tried to tell me the yankee games were blacked out over the tri state region. So I then informed the directv rep that I lived in Arizona and was quickly put on hold. Then I was told it was a mistake on their part and for me to give it a day or so and it will be corrected. After another week I was still blacked out from all yankee games but all else on Yes network was shown. I called again, this time I was told it was Yes doing the black out and suggestions were made to subscribe to their MLB package. No thanks I am not interested in watching KC vs Cleveland so I cancelled my sports package and neglected to add MLB. What was the real cause of the black out? Not sure but I would tend to think it was directv trying to get more subscribers to the more costly MLB.

    • TJ

      You won’t get the games unless you pay for the MLB Extra Innings. I’m suspecting that even if YES goes black then the Extra Innings Subscribers will be OK. Ironically this would be OK for the out of state Yankee fans. If for some reason I pay for the Extra Innings and can’t get the Yankee Games then hell will break loose on Directv and that would last about five minutes. So many Yank fans will call and complain and threaten to switch that it would be fixed. YES no doubt knows this and can therefore ask for just about whatever they want.

      Maybe that’s why all those expensive seats can go empty and no one seems to mind, the real money is in the television and radio deals.

  • Mark from Washington

    If YES goes black on DirecTV, from what I’ve read Extra Innings won’t cover those of in the NY area since YES is our RSN…it’ll be completely blacked out for us. Both sides probably share in the blame, though i agree with the comment that this smacks of Levine. In the interim, you can put your DirecTV account on hold ( ) and (groan) get a cable subscription, or fake your ip address to stream on This sucks out loud.

  • GG

    This will go on inperpituity as long as the consumers crumble to the bullying. It will be like playing “musical carriers”. I sit down with one and the Yankees start and stop the music and knock out the one I’m sitting with so I move on to the next, until the music stops again. Well I choose to be the one to stop the music…I’ll listen to the games on the radio much the way I did when I was a child from the Bronx over 55 years ago. I won’t be played for a fool. No one is curing cancer here!

    Now if DTV is pulling a stunt so that people purchase their new MLB programming…shame on them and I’ll gladly reduce my package or find greener pastures! If it’s the Yankees who are just padding their already enormous wallets shame on them and they can keep their network, their partial season ticket package, their parking garage, their concessions, and they can pay out billions to whomever they choose becuase it won’t be on my hard earned money any more. Enough is enough!! How can 2 very successful corporations (made successful by the people who buy their product)have the distatsteful greediness to shake people down at a time when many people are struggling to put gas into their tanks just to get to work…if they even have a job to go to!? Stop using the tactic of holding hostage those who have a deep seated loyalty to something that existed for many of us before DTV and the present Yankee ownership ever were.

    They might want to think this greed thing through. It doesn’t pay in the end…just ask Bernie Madoff!!

    • Yank the Frank