Cable Operators

YES Connects With Mediacom, RCN, MetroCast On 'National' Deals

5/10/2010 10:33 AM Eastern

YES Network will add three more affiliates to its "national" roster next month.
The regional sports network home to Major League Baseball's New York Yankees has signed up Mediacom, RCN and MetroCast to YES National deals.
YES senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing Matt Cacciato said the distributors would begin launching the service, which features all of the RSN's programming outside of live Yankees and New Jersey Nets games telecasts, between June 1 and June 30 on sports tiers and more widely penetrated video packages.
In the case of RCN and MetroCast, the YES National plays were part of larger pacts, which, relative to the latter, will include the "Yankees on YES Live Game Streaming" in-market package of Yankees contests.
Mediacom, RCN and MetroCast join DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, AT&T U-verse and Blue Ridge Communications, among others,in offering YES National, which features such Bronx Bombers-related fare as Yankees Batting Practice Today, bio series Yankeeography, the weekly manager series, The Joe Girardi Show, Yankees Magazine, Yankees Classics games, Yankees Hot Stove, the Emmy-winning kids show, Yankees on Deck and Mike'd Up: Francesaon the FAN, the weekday simulcast of the popular New York afternoon radio show with Mike Francesa.

"We're close on a couple more. We expect affiliate growth to continue for YES National," said Cacciato.
"The Yankees and YES are national brands that generate interest from coast to coast. With the Mediacom pact, we've added some [Midwestern] markets that support that claim," Cacciato said.

Similarly, RCN will make YES National available to its subscribers in Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston, home to the Yankees' arch-rivals, the Red Sox.

MetroCast operates systems in Alabama, Mississippi, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Maine and New Hampshire.

Moreover, for MetroCast, which also trades within YES's home-market telecast footprint of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the deal also includes the launch of the Yankees on "YES Live Game Streaming" package of broadband ballgames. MetroCast joins Cablevision, FiOS, Blue Ridge and Time Warner Cable in offering the broadband service.

Cacciato said that while YES National is not rated, other data the network has collated indicates that the "service is being used and watched during all dayparts. Yankees Magazine and The Joe Girardi are popular and the Francesa block really helps."

As YES affiliate executives arrive in Los Angeles for Cable Show 2010, their focus will not only be on putting more YES National pacts in play, but connecting with distributors for the network's 3D telecasts of Yankees-Seattle Mariners games on July 10 and July 11 from Safeco Field in Seattle. Working in conjunction with DirecTV and the DBS provider's RSN, FSN Northwest, the YES telecasts will be the first MLB games to be presented in the advanced format.
At this point, the Yankees-Mariners 3D broadcasts -- coming just before DirecTV, in conjunction with Fox Sports, presents MLB's All-Star Game in the enhanced format from Anaheim on July 13 -- will be made available to the DBS provider's HD customers with 3D-capable TV sets that are within YES's footprint of New York State and Connecticut, north and central New Jersey, and northeast Pennsylvania. However, YES is making the 3D telecasts available to other distributors within its territory.
"Talks have begun with operators of various sizes and locations," said Cacciato. "There has been a lot of genuine interest and we're confident that some of our affiliates will take up the 3D telecasts."

September