YES Network

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YES Network
YES Network logo.png
Launched March 19, 2002
Network Fox Sports Networks
Owned by 21st Century Fox (80%)
Yankee Global Enterprises (20%)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan The Home of Champions
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area New York metropolitan area
Nationwide (via satellite)
Headquarters New York City, New York;
Stamford, Connecticut
Website YES Network
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 631 (HD/SD)
YES (overflow):
633-1 (HD)
633 (SD)
Available on several cable providers Check local listings for channels
IPTV
Verizon FiOS 595 (HD)
AT&T U-verse 1702 (HD)

The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) is an American cable and satellite television regional sports network based in New York City, New York; it broadcasts a variety of sports events, with an emphasis on New York Yankees baseball games, and Brooklyn Nets basketball games. The channel is primarily owned by 21st Century Fox, with Yankee Global Enterprises owning a 20% interest. In fall 2013, YES began carrying Fox Sports programming that was previously shown on MSG+.

YES Network's offices are based at the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. YES programming, including Yankees and Nets pre- and post-game shows are produced in studios that are located in Stamford, Connecticut.[1] YES Network debuted on March 19, 2002. The channel is available locally in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and parts of Pennsylvania; it is available nationally on DirecTV and in the sports tier of cable systems, and regionally on AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS.

Founding[edit]

YES is the product of a 1999 merger of the business operations of the Yankees and Nets into a holding company called YankeeNets. One of the reasons that the teams merged was to give them better leverage over their own broadcast rights; each party believed that it would get a better deal individually, if they negotiated the rights collectively. Two years earlier Cablevision, who at the time 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 MLB, NBA and NHL teams in the New York City market when it acquired the competing MSG Network (previously owned by Gulf+Western, Paramount Communications, and Viacom), which had the Yankees broadcast rights 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 because Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable routinely fought over carriage deals. Cablevision attempted to buy the Yankees outright, but could not agree to acceptable terms with George Steinbrenner and his partners.

YankeeNets discussed multiple options with potential partners to either stay with Cablevision or start its own network. The ultimate decision was to start its own network, ending the five-year monopoly that Cablevision had held on local New York sports. The Yankees' success in the late-1990s was a key factor in the decision, as it had become a much more valuable brand than ever before.

Ownership[edit]

When YES launched, Goldman Sachs owned a minority share of the network. 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. This 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 LLC, which owns the Yankees and YES as separate companies. 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, the portion of the network owned by Goldman Sachs was put up for sale for estate taxes reasons;.[2]

In November 2012, five years after Goldman Sachs put their stake in YES on sale, News Corporation (now 21st Century Fox) agreed to terms on a 49% stake in YES. As a result, each of the previous owners of YES had their ownership stakes reduced.

It was announced in January 2014 that 21st Century Fox upped its stake in the network from 49% to 80%, giving Fox Sports majority control of YES Network.[3]

YES original programming[edit]

YES has also featured original programs, some of which have won local New York Emmys. In addition to live coverage of Yankees and Nets games, and their respective pre- and post-game shows, other original programming 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 the New England Sports Network (NESN), a Boston, Massachusetts-based regional sports channel.
  • CenterStage - An interview program.
  • Forbes SportsMoney - A joint venture between YES and Forbes, focusing on the money issues in sports.
  • The Mike Francesa Show - a video simulcast of the popular WFAN radio show Mike's On with host Mike Francesa. YES also simulcasts Francesa's nationally syndicated radio show The NFL Now under the title Football Sunday with Mike Francesa.
  • Nets Magazine
  • This Week in Football - A weekly NFL highlight and analysis program.
  • Yankees Classics
  • Yankees Magazine
  • Yankeeography - A Biography-style program focusing on notable current and former Yankees personalities.
  • Yankees on Deck (formerly Kids on Deck) - A children's show
  • Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game - Based around Yankee-related, and other baseball and sports memorabilia and co-produced by Yankees-Steiner Collectibles, a joint venture of the Yankees and Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia.
  • YES' Ultimate Road Trip - A reality show which combined elements of The Real World and Road Rules as it follows a group of Yankee fans throughout an entire 162-game season. The show aired from 2005-2007.
  • Yogi and a Movie - Sports movies and wrap-around commentary from Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra.

YES also broadcasts Yankees and Nets press conferences live as circumstances warrant.

Minor league baseball and college sports[edit]

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

From 2002 to 2006, YES also showed games from the Yankees' former Class-AAA team, the Columbus Clippers of the International League. Those games were locally produced in Columbus, Ohio. After the 2006 season, the Yankees ended their affiliation with the Clippers, and are now affiliated with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (formerly Red Barons). No Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankee games have aired on YES, although the team has local coverage in its own market.

YES also showed Ivy League college sports, Big 12 conference basketball through ESPN Plus, and rebroadcasts of Notre Dame football games. It also carries coaches' shows for Notre Dame and Penn State. Since 2011, YES has broadcast live basketball games from Fordham University.

In the fall of 2013, YES began broadcasting select games produced by Fox Sports Networks including ACC football and basketball games.

Relationships with New York Giants and Manchester United[edit]

In 2000, YankeeNets engaged in a marketing agreement with the New York Giants of the National Football League. This resulted in exclusive Giants magazine programming on YES, including Giants Online and Giants on Deck, which remained on the air after the YankeeNets breakup. In 2007, the Giants ended their relationship with YES and moved their programming to the Fox-owned duopoly of WNYW (channel 5) and WWOR-TV (channel 9) (Fox owns broadcast rights to most games from the Giants home conference, the National Football Conference).[4]

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

Other sports programming[edit]

In addition to the cablecasts, the YES Network also produces the over-the-air broadcasts of Yankees games on WWOR-TV, using the same on-air talent. From 2002 to 2004, WCBS-TV (channel 2) carried the Yankees broadcasts while WLNY-TV (channel 55) carried the Nets. The Yankees package is also simulcast on stations elsewhere within the team's designated market. YES also offers a Spanish-language audio feed of all Yankees games through SAP; this feed can also be heard on New York radio station WNSW, which holds the Yankees' Spanish-language rights.

YES attempted to secure television rights to the New Jersey Devils, formerly owned by an affiliate of YankeeNets, but with the team sold to a different ownership group, it opted to renew its contract with MSG Network and FSN New York in 2005 on a long-term basis.

YES broadcasts NBA TV's daily news and fantasy basketball shows (usually a rebroadcast, but occasionally live in the early morning drive time hours) and The Marv Albert Show. YES and NBA TV also aired reruns of the 1978-1981 CBS drama series The White Shadow for a couple of years.

YES formally aired This Week in Baseball during the week, following each episode's premiere on Fox on Saturdays throughout the MLB regular season.

As part of a multi-year agreement with MP & Silva, YES broadcast Arsenal FC's Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League matches on a tape delay. In addition to airing Arsenal matches, the channel aired select classic matches, as well as their magazine shows, Arsenal World and Arsenal 360. This agreement ended at the start of the 2012-13 Premier League season.

In May 2013, the New York Yankees and Premier League winners Manchester City F.C. announced their joint acquisition of new Major League Soccer franchise, New York City FC. The Yankees inormed Major League Soccer that they could televise NYCFC games on the YES Network.[5]

On-air staff[edit]

Current staff[edit]

  • Greg Anthony - Brooklyn Nets game analyst
  • Joe Auriemma - YESNetwork.com reporter/host
  • David Cone - Yankees game analyst
  • Howard Cross - co-host of This Week in Football
  • Jack Curry - Yankees studio analyst/fill-in clubhouse reporter
  • Gordon Damer - fill-in studio host and host of This Week in Football
  • Ian Eagle - lead play-by-play broadcaster for Nets games
  • John Flaherty - Yankees game analyst
  • Mike Fratello - Nets 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 sideline reporter/Alternative Yankees sideline & clubhouse reporter
  • Al Leiter - Yankees game analyst
  • Bob Lorenz - lead studio host/fill-in play-by-play
  • Meredith Marakovits - Yankees sideline & 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
  • Lou Piniella - Yankees game analyst
  • Ryan Ruocco - host of This Week in Football; alternate play-by-play voice for Brooklyn Nets
  • 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
  • Ross Tucker - co-host of This Week in Football
  • Don LaGreca - co-host of "The Michael Kay Show" simulcast on YES

Since the launch of YES in 2002, the voice of longtime Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard has been featured in station IDs and upcoming schedules. Marv Albert's voice is sometimes used instead.

Former on-air staff[edit]

Controversy[edit]

A carriage dispute with Cablevision, who attempted to purchase the Yankees in 1998 and carried the team's games on MSG Network at the time of the channel's launch, led to a year without Yankee games for all Cablevision subscribers until New York State's government stepped in and negotiated a temporary deal. The two sides eventually signed a long-term carriage contract in 2004. When MSG first signed its television deal with the Yankees, Cablevision (which owned SportsChannel New York) and MSG also had a lengthy carriage dispute.

Dish Network remains the only pay television provider in the New York City area not to carry YES, and has indicated that it will not offer YES unless the channel asks for a lower subscription fee.[6] YES, however, has a most favored nation clause with all of its cable and satellite operators. If YES lowered its price for one operator, it would void all other contracts. Incidentally, YES minority owner Goldman Sachs also has an ownership stake in Dish Network parent Echostar.

In 2003, now-former Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer said some negative things in the media about owner George Steinbrenner. In response, Steinbrenner is rumored to have 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 Championship prior to a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Instead, a fixed camera shot was focused tightly on correspondent Kimberly Jones as she described in general terms the events surrounding her; afterwards, YES was roundly criticized for the move. Yankees players not only witnessed the ceremonies, but graciously applauded them from the top steps of their dugout.[7] Perhaps due to this incident, in 2012 when the Red Sox celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park, YES broadcast the majority of the ceremonies.

During the 2005 season, New York City area newspapers reported that the post-game questions asked to Yankees manager Joe Torre by Jones were being sent to her by top-level team executives (quite possibly on directives from 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 the agreement. YES now sends its reporter to the regular pre- and post-game media sessions with other broadcast outlets.

In March 2008, Time Warner Cable moved YES from its channel 30 position in the New York metropolitan area to channel 53 soon after the Yankees received city public funding for a new stadium. Simultaneously, Time Warner Cable moved Bloomberg TV to the channel 30 position, all while renegotiating its 10-year contract with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city of New York.[8]

YES Network HD[edit]

YES HD.jpg

In mid-July 2004, YES introduced a 1080i high definition version of the network televising all Yankees home games, as well as away games with the Mets and Boston Red Sox. In 2005, YES began covering both home and away games played east of the Mississippi River in HD. In 2006, HD coverage was expanded to virtually all of the Yankees and Nets games. YES-HD has been the primary service with the SD program being a downconversion since April 2007. YES-HD is available through Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision, DirecTV, RCN and Verizon FiOS, among other providers. All Yankees and Nets games, in addition to studio shows, are now broadcast in HD. Since September 2006, YES has produced Yankees and Nets games in HD for WWOR-TV, but not necessarily for television stations simulcasting the WWOR games in other markets although the HD version is available to them. Currently the network is the only one under Fox's majority ownership to broadcast programming in 1080i, rather than Fox's preferred 720p format.

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

National feed[edit]

YES has a national feed of the network. This feed does not feature live games, but does include both the pre- and post-game shows. Alternate programming is shown during games. Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS (regionally), and Bright House Networks[9] (Tampa Bay and Orlando systems) are currently three of the cable providers that carry YES outside of the New York market. This feed is different from that of the satellite feed available on DirecTV in which Yankees and/or Nets games can be viewed outside of the teams' markets with a subscription to MLB Extra Innings and / or NBA League Pass.

Digital on-screen graphics[edit]

  • 2002-2004: The original graphics package for game telecasts featured a blue diamond, outlined in white in upper left-handed corner of screen. Red arrows, outlined in white, were placed around the diamond to show baserunners at their respective bases. The team's initials were boxed next to their amount of runs scored in the center of the diamond. The inning was placed above the score while the amount of outs and current pitch count were placed below the score. The YES logo was found at the bottom of the diamond, disappearing temporarily after incoming pitch speeds.
  • 2005: The on-screen scoreboard was slightly modified for the 2005 season. The blue diamond lost its white outline, given a darker more royal-blue color to it. The arrows signifying the baserunners were changed to a bright yellow. The teams initials remained in the middle, now only in silver boxes with their amount of runs scored directly to the right in white in black backgrounds. The pitch count and number of outs changed to white on a black background. A small red capsule would appear next to the team currently batting. Just like after a pitch speed, the YES logo at the bottom of the graphic changed after a home run was hit. When that happens, a yellow rectangle takes the place of the logo in bold capital letters spelling "HOME RUN".
  • 2006: During Spring Training period of 2006, the on-screen scoreboard changed dramatically. The scoreboard changed from a diamond in the left corner to thin banner spanning the top of the screen; the banner was white with a chrome finish. On the far left of the banner was the diamond showing the runners at each base. The bases in the diamond were outlined in blue and each base would glow yellow when a runner was on that specific base. Next to the diamond were the team scores. The teams initials were found in black boxes encased in a large rectangle featuring the team's main color. Also in the rectangle was the team's number of runs scored in black on a white background. From left to right, the inning, number of outs and pitch count were in small black rectangles. To the far right is the YES logo which would slide to the right to show the most recent pitch speed. After each pitch, or after an out or run was scored, the appropriate box would flash blue to the appropriate stat. After a home run was hit, the diamond would turn blue displaying the letters 'HR' in the center.
  • 2007-2009: The only subtle to change to the scoreboard was in the base diamond. The bases were now outlined in black and after a home run was hit, the diamond would turn black before displaying the 'HR' text.
  • 2010–present: During Opening Day of the 2010 season, the graphics changed dramatically. The scoreboard changed from a bar that spanned the top of the screen to a smaller one placed on the top left of the screen. The bar is white fading into black with the team names in their respective team colors with their score next to them. The bases graphic is on the far right. The inning count, outs, and pitching count (balls and strikes) is in a black graphic bar under the main bar. And to the right, the current pitcher's pitch count, in a separate section in black text with a white background. This area also is used to show the last pitch speed displayed in black text within a yellow background for a few moments after each pitch. When a home run is hit, the "HOME RUN (Player)" text will scroll to the left on their respective team's color background, and under it will say which home run it was during the season (E.g. 7th HR of the season).

Brooklyn Nets broadcasts use a variation of the above graphics. The YES logo is colored black during Nets games. During the Nets' New Jersey tenure, the YES logo was colored red.

Website[edit]

The official website of the network is http://yesnetwork.com. When the network launched in 2002, this domain was registered by a seminar training company called the "Yes! Network." YES temporarily used the domain yesnetworktv.com,[10] before making a deal with the Yes! Network, who moved to the new domain http://yesmidwest.com.

Early in the 2006 season, website design and maintenance of yesnetwork.com was taken over by MLB's digital arm, MLBAM, which operates websites from other team-owned regional sports networks including the Mets' SportsNet New York, and formerly the Cleveland Indians' SportsTime Ohio. As a result, YES is able to show a limited amount of game highlights on its website, in addition to post-game interviews.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]


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