Yankee fans in the Comcast area of NJ/ NY, judging by social media comments, are in a revolt mood as the baseball season approaches with no word from Comcast regarding reinstating the channel. Comcast has had almost three months without paying the YES fee.
Here is the YES Network’s explanation for the channel blackout in the NJ/NY area. It was last November 18, just weeks after the end of the baseball season, that Comcast dropped YES Network, home to the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York City FC, with no advance notice to its subscribers.
YES and Comcast had reached an agreement on the key points of a new contract many months ago, and per YES, the network continued to operate in good faith under that arrangement through the entire Yankees and NYCFC seasons and into the Nets season.
Unfortunately, because YES will not yield to Comcast’s demands for special treatment, Comcast has decided to drop YES Network and its coverage of the NY Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and the New York City FC. YES, using tough words, says “THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY, Comcast already agreed to pay the market rate. This is about a company that wants to eliminate all competition by receiving all the benefits of a contract without respecting any of the obligations.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What has happened?
A: At midnight on November 18, Comcast/Xfinity dropped YES Network, and Comcast customers are no longer be able to see YES’s coverage of Nets basketball or any future Yankees games on YES when the Bombers return for the 2016 season. Comcast alone made this decision and removed YES programming from its lineup. They claim that they dropped YES due to price. That’s not true. They had been paying the agreed-upon rate since last spring.
Q: I am an Xfinity subscriber, am I affected?
A: If you are an Xfinity subscriber that gets YES Network in your video package, then you are affected. YES Network is no longer available to Xfinity subscribers.
Q: What programming am I missing?
A: Xfinity viewers have lost access to some of the most popular live sports programming on TV – YES Network’s coverage of Yankees baseball. This includes Yankees Hot Stove programming this fall and winter, Yankees Spring Training games, and 125 regular season games featuring the 27-time World Champion Yankees. In addition, Xfinity viewers have lost access to 70 remaining NBA regular season telecasts featuring the Brooklyn Nets, Nets and Yankees Pre- and Post-Game shows and additional original programming such as Yankees Batting Practice Today, The Joe Girardi Show, Yankees Magazine, and Yankeeography: Moments of Glory. YES Network also features live New York City FC soccer telecasts, Forbes SportsMoney, CenterStage, and live simulcasts of The Michael Kay Show.
Q: Have only Xfinity customers lost access to YES Network?
A: Yes, only Xfinity customers are affected. Fortunately, Xfinity customers have alternatives, as all other major video providers offer YES Network.
Q: Are your proposals “unreasonable?”
A: No. YES Network’s proposals are not only reasonable, they are in line with agreements already secured with other major pay-TV providers within the marketplace. In fact, last spring Comcast agreed to the financial terms of a new deal and had been paying on those terms throughout the entire Yankees season and early Nets season prior to dropping the channel on November 18. THIS IS NOT ABOUT MONEY. Comcast already agreed to pay the market rate. This is about a company that wants to eliminate all competition by receiving all the benefits of a contract without respecting any of the obligations.
Q: Comcast says that viewership of the Yankees on YES and viewership of YES in general is low. True?
A: False. Whatever claims they are making are not consistent with ratings measurements from Nielsen. YES has been more popular than any other RSN in the country, including Comcast’s, for 11 of the past 12 years. Its Yankees telecasts are often some of the most popular programming in the New York area. In fact, the Yankees on YES has been the most-watched RSN MLB programming in each of the past 10 years.
Q: What can I do about this situation?
A: If you are a Comcast subscriber that is concerned about missing the rest of the NBA season coverage on YES, as well as when the Yankees return to YES in the spring, click here to find pay-TV providers that carry YES Network.
“YES Network carried approximately 130 baseball games this past season and well over 90 percent of our 900,000 plus customers who receive YES Network didn’t watch the equivalent of even one quarter of those games during the season, even while the Yankees were in the hunt for a playoff berth. Viewership of the network in the baseball offseason is even lower. Fox and the Yankees are asking all of our customers to pay them hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years to continue receiving the channel. The price Fox and the Yankees are requiring from our customers is not acceptable given the network’s minimal viewership, which is why we have decided we can no longer justify continuing to carry the Network. YES simply does not present an appropriate price-value proposition for our customers.”