|Launched||March 19, 2002|
|Network||Fox Sports Networks|
|Owned by||21st Century Fox (80%)
Yankee Global Enterprises (20%)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
(HD feed downscaled to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
|Slogan||The Home of Champions|
|Broadcast area||New York metropolitan area
Nationwide (via satellite)
|Headquarters||New York City, New York;
Fox Sports Networks
WNYW New York
WWOR-TV Secaucus, NJ
|Time Warner Cable (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island)||53 and 321 (SD)
|Optimum (Brooklyn and The Bronx)||210 (SD)(HD)|
|RCN (Manhattan and Queens)||372 (SD)
(New York metropolitan area)
|Available on some other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
|Frontier U-verse||1702 (HD)|
|Fox Sports Go||www.foxsportsgo.com/
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from participating providers to stream content; some events may not be available due to league rights restrictions)
The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) is an American cable and satellite television regional sports network that is owned by 21st Century Fox (which owns a controlling 80% interest and serves as managing partner) and Yankee Global Enterprises (which owns the remaining 20%). Primarily serving New York City, New York and the surrounding metropolitan area, it broadcasts a variety of sports events, as well as magazine, documentary and discussion programs; however, its main emphasis is focused on games and team-related programs involving the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (owned by minority partner Yankee Global), the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and New York City FC of Major League Soccer.
YES Network's offices are based at the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan. YES programs, including Yankees and Nets pre- and post-game shows, are produced in studios that are located in Stamford, Connecticut. The channel is available on cable and IPTV providers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania; it is available nationally on some cable systems (as part of a designated sports tier), via satellite on DirecTV, and regionally on Frontier U-verse and Verizon FiOS and Cox Communications.
- 1 History
- 2 Programming
- 3 Minor league baseball and college sports
- 4 On-air staff
- 5 Related services
- 6 Digital on-screen graphics
- 7 Controversies
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
YES is the product of a holding company founded in 1999 called YankeeNets, created out a merger of the business operations of the Yankees and the then-New Jersey Nets. One of the reasons behind the operational merger was to allow both teams to gain better leverage over their own broadcast rights; each party believed that it would obtain better individual deals, if they negotiated the rights collectively.
Two years earlier in 1997, Cablevision – which at the time had 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 Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL teams in the New York City market when it acquired the competing MSG Network (previously owned by Viacom through its 1994 purchase of the network's former parent Paramount Communications), which had held the broadcast rights to the Yankees 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 as Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable routinely fought over carriage agreements. 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.
YES launched on March 19, 2002, under the ownership of YankeeNets and Goldman Sachs, the latter of which served as minority partner. At that time, the network's current website domain, YesNetwork.com, was registered by a seminar training company called the "Yes! Network." As a result, the YES cable channel temporarily used the domain "yesnetworktv.com" for its website, before negotiating a deal with the Yes! Network (which reassigned its domain to YesMidwest.com) to purchase the YesNetwork.com domain.
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. The 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 early 2006, the design and maintenance of YesNetwork.com was taken over by Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive unit of Major League Baseball which has operated the websites of other team-owned regional sports networks including the Mets' SportsNet New York, and (while that network was under the ownership of the Cleveland Indians) SportsTime Ohio. As a result, YES gained the streaming rights to carry a limited amount of game highlights on its website, in addition to post-game interviews. In 2007, Goldman Sachs' share in the network was put up for sale for estate taxes reasons.
In November 2012, News Corporation agreed to terms on acquiring a 49% stake in YES. As a consequence, each of the network's previous owners had their ownership stakes reduced. News Corporation's interest in YES was transferred to 21st Century Fox (owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also remained the owner of News Corporation), when the former company spun off its U.S. entertainment holdings into a separate company in July 2013.
In September 2013, YES began carrying national programming primarily intended for distribution to the Fox Sports regional networks, assuming the regional television rights to those programs from MSG Plus. On January 25, 2014, 21st Century Fox became the network's majority owner by purchasing an additional 31% share of YES Network, increasing the company's ownership interest from 49% to 80%.
In 2014, the YES Network announced an average 223,000 households in Yankees game broadcasts.
In addition to live coverage of Yankees and Nets games, their respective pre-game and post-game shows and (as circumstances warrant) live press conferences, YES has produced various original programs, some of which have won local New York Emmy Awards. Other original programming featured 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 Boston-based regional sports channel New England Sports Network (NESN).
- CenterStage – a weekly program hosted by Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay, featuring in-depth interviews with various celebrities.
- The Michael Kay Show – a video simulcast of the radio show from ESPN Radio affiliate WEPN-FM (98.7 FM), featuring Michael Kay and Ryan Ruocco.
- Forbes SportsMoney – a financial magazine program produced as a joint venture between YES and Forbes, focusing on the financial aspects of the sports industry.
- The Mike Francesa Show – a video simulcast of the popular WFAN (660 AM) 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 – a weekly program featuring news, analysis and feature segments focusing on the Brooklyn Nets.
- Yankees Classics – rebroadcasts of marquee New York Yankees games from previous years.
- Yankees Magazine – a weekly program featuring news, analysis and feature segments focusing on the Yankees.
- Yankeeography – a Biography-style program focusing on notable current and former Yankees personalities.
- Yankees on Deck (formerly Kids on Deck) – a children's program in which younger Yankee fans are given an inside look at what it is like to be a member of the Yankee organization.
- Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game – a reality series based around Yankee-related, and other baseball and sports memorabilia; co-produced by Yankees-Steiner Collectibles, a joint venture of the Yankees and Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia.
- YES' Ultimate Road Trip (2005–2007) – A reality show that combined elements of The Real World and Road Rules, following a group of Yankee fans following the team around the country throughout an entire 162-game season.
- Yogi and a Movie – A showcase of sports movies featuring wraparound commentary segments hosted by Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra.
Minor league baseball and college sports
Since the network's debut, YES has aired select telecasts of the Yankees' minor league farm teams, primarily the Class-A (short season) Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League. Those games are produced by YES, utilizing the same graphics and announcers as seen during game telecasts of the major league Yankees.
From 2002 to 2006, YES also broadcast games from the Yankees' former Class-AAA team, the Columbus Clippers of the International League. Those games were produced locally in Columbus, Ohio. After the 2006 season, the Yankees ended their affiliation with the Clippers, and became affiliated with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (formerly the Yankees and Red Barons). YES has not televised any of the Railriders' games, although the team has local coverage within its Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.
The network has also broadcast various college sports events including football and basketball games from the Ivy League, basketball games from the Big 12 Conference (through ESPN Plus) and rebroadcasts of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football games. It also carries the coaches' shows of Notre Dame and the Penn State Nittany Lions. In 2011, YES began airing live broadcasts of college basketball games involving the Fordham University. As part of the formation of its programming deal with Fox Sports Networks, in September 2013, YES began broadcasting select FSN-produced college sports events intended for national broadcast on its regional sports networks, including football and basketball games from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Relationships with New York Giants and Manchester United
In 2000, YankeeNets entered into a marketing agreement with the New York Giants; this included awarding YES the exclusive rights to the NFL franchise's magazine programs (including Giants Online and Giants on Deck, which continued to air on the network after the YankeeNets breakup). The Giants' relationship with YES Network ended in 2007, at which time its team-related programming moved to Fox owned-and-operated station WNYW (channel 5) and MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WWOR-TV (channel 9), a duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations (whose sister company, the Fox network, owns broadcast rights to most games from the Giants home conference, the National Football Conference).
YankeeNets also maintained a similar relationship with English football club Manchester United. YES broadcast tape-delayed and classic United games produced by the team-owned Manchester United TV in the network's earlier days.
Other sports programming
The YES Network also produces Yankees game broadcasts shown over-the-air on WPIX-TV, using the same on-air talent seen on the cable network. From 2002 to 2004, WCBS-TV (channel 2) carried the Yankees broadcasts, while WLNY-TV (channel 55) held the local broadcast television rights to the Nets. The Yankees package is also simulcast on other television stations in the team's designated market region. YES also offers a Spanish-language feed of all of its Yankees game telecasts through the second audio program incorporated into most television sets, and cable and satellite converter boxes; this feed can also be heard on New York radio station WNSW ( AM), which holds the contract to carry the Yankees' Spanish-language broadcasts.
The network attempted to secure television rights to the New Jersey Devils, formerly owned by an affiliate of YankeeNets; after the team was sold to a different ownership group, the Devils opted to renew their contract with MSG Network and FSN New York in 2005, under a long-term agreement.
YES broadcasts NBA TV's daily news and fantasy basketball shows (usually in the form of rebroadcasts, but occasionally showing live telecasts in the early morning drive time hours) and The Marv Albert Show. For a couple of years during the early 2000s, YES and NBA TV also both aired reruns of the basketball-centered drama series The White Shadow. The network also previously aired This Week in Baseball during the week throughout the Major League Baseball regular season, following each episode's original Saturday broadcast on Fox.
As part of a multi-year agreement with MP & Silva, YES aired tape delayed broadcasts of Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches involving Arsenal F.C.. In addition to airing Arsenal matches, the network aired select archived match telecasts, as well as the team's magazine shows, Arsenal World and Arsenal 360. This agreement ended at the start of the 2012-13 Premier League season.
In December 2014, YES announced it had acquired local broadcast rights to New York City FC of Major League Soccer; Yankee Global Enterprises owns a 20% minority stake in the club, which is majority-owned by City Football Group.
Current on-air staff
- Greg Anthony – Brooklyn Nets game analyst
- David Cone – Yankees game analyst
- Jack Curry – Yankees studio analyst/fill-in clubhouse reporter
- 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/fill-in Yankees sideline and clubhouse reporter
- Don LaGreca – co-host of "The Michael Kay Show" simulcast on YES
- Al Leiter – Yankees game analyst
- Bob Lorenz – lead studio host/fill-in play-by-play
- Meredith Marakovits – Yankees sideline and 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
- 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
Since the network's launch in 2002, longtime Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard has served as a continuity announcer for YES' network identifications and programming schedules. Marv Albert also sometimes provides continuity for on-air promotions.
Former on-air staff
- Marv Albert – lead play-by-play broadcaster for Nets games (2005–2011; now at CBS Sports and TNT)
- Michelle Beadle – Nets sideline reporter, correspondent, Yankees on Deck, host, YES' Ultimate Road Trip (2005–2009; now at ESPN)
- Leslie Boghosian – studio host/reporter (2002–2006)
- Keith Byars – co-host of This Week in Football
- Tim Capstraw – Nets game analyst
- Chris Carrino – alternate play-by-play broadcaster for Nets and Yankees games
- Joe Girardi – Yankees sideline reporter and game/studio analyst (2004, 2007; now Yankees manager)
- Fred Hickman – studio host (2002–2004; now sports director at Fox affiliate WVUE-DT in New Orleans)
- Mark Jackson – Nets game analyst (2005–2008; now at ESPN)
- Kimberly Jones – Yankees sideline/clubhouse reporter (2005–2012; now at NFL Network)
- David Justice – Yankees studio analyst; host of Yankees on Deck (2005–2007)
- Jim Kaat – Yankees game analyst (2002–2006; now with MLB Network)
- Tino Martinez – Yankees game analyst (2010; served as hitting coach for the Miami Marlins for part of the 2013 season)
- Bobby Murcer – Yankees game analyst/studio analyst (2002–2008; died on July 12, 2008)
- Larry Pasquale – contributor for This Week in Football
- Lou Piniella – Yankees game analyst
- Charley Steiner – occasional host of Yankees-related programs (2002–2004; now a radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Jessica Taff – New Jersey Nets sideline reporter (now the New York sports anchor for Al Jazeera America)
- Kelly Tripucka – Nets game analyst (2003–2005; now a New York Knicks studio analyst on MSG Network)
- Suzyn Waldman – Yankees clubhouse reporter (2002–2004; now the game analyst for WFAN-AM/FM radio)
YES2 is a gametime-only overflow feed of YES Network, which broadcasts select Nets games on rare occasions when the Nets and Yankees are scheduled to play at the same time. The feed is carried in both standard and high definition on most cable providers in the New York metropolitan area and nationwide on DirecTV.
YES Network HD
YES Network HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast feed of the network, which is carried on select cable providers (including Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision, DirecTV, RCN and Verizon FiOS). As of 2015[update], YES is currently one of only three networks owned by YES majority owner 21st Century Fox (alongside regional sports networks Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio) that transmit their HD simulcasts in 1080i, rather than the company's preferred 720p format.
When it launched in mid-July 2004, YES HD initially only televised all Yankees home games, as well as away games involving the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, in high definition. In 2005, YES began televising all Yankees games played east of the Mississippi River in high definition, with the network's HD telecasts expanding to encompass virtually all of the Yankees and Nets games in 2006. In addition to game telecasts, the network now also broadcasts all of its studio shows in HD. All YES-produced Yankees and Nets game telecasts aired on WWOR-TV began broadcasting in HD in September 2006; however while the HD feed of the games is available to these outlets, the HD telecasts were not necessarily distributed to television stations outside of the New York City area that simulcast WWOR's game broadcasts.
In April 2007, YES converted the aspect ratio of its primary standard definition feed from full-screen to a letterboxed 4:3 format, which is a downconversion from the 16:9 high definition feed. The network's use of the AFD #10 broadcast flag to transmit its HD feed in this manner for broadcast in SD predates its use by other national cable networks such as Fox News Channel, ESPN and CNN.
YES Network borrowed time on Cablevision's "iO TV 1300" service and on DirecTV to carry the first baseball game ever transmitted in 3D on July 10 and 11, 2010, when the Yankees faced the Seattle Mariners; the 3D telecast of the game was also distributed to other cable providers.
YES Network maintains a national feed available to select cable providers outside of the New York City market – including Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS (in certain markets) and Bright House Networks (on its systems in Tampa and Orlando). The feed does not include the network's live game telecasts (with alternate programming airing in their place), however it does carry the pre-game and post-game shows that bookend Yankees and Nets games aired by YES within the market. This feed differs from the satellite feed of the network available on DirecTV, in which Yankees and/or Nets games can be viewed outside of the teams' markets through a subscription to MLB Extra Innings and/or NBA League Pass.
Digital on-screen graphics
The original graphics package used for the network's game telecasts consisted of a blue diamond, outlined in white in the upper left-handed corner of the screen. Red arrows, outlined in white, were placed around the diamond to indicate baserunners positioned at their respective bases. The team's initials were placed in a box 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 placed at the bottom of the diamond, disappearing temporarily after incoming pitch speeds.
For the 2005 season, the on-screen scoreboard was modified slightly to remove the white outline around the blue diamond, which was given a darker more royal-blue shading; the arrows signifying the baserunners were now rendered in bright yellow. The team initials remained in the middle of the score bug, now only in silver boxes with the respective amount of runs scored placed directly to the right in white-on-black backgrounds. The pitch count and number of outs became rendered in white on a black background. A small red capsule was incorporated as well, appearing next to the team currently at bat. In addition to being removed when the speed of a pitch was indicated, the YES logo at the bottom of the bug was replaced with a yellow rectangle with the banner title "HOME RUN" in bold capital letters whenever a home run was scored.
The network's score bug received a dramatic overhaul beginning with the 2006 Spring Training period. The left-corner diamond design was replaced with a thin horizontal white-on-chrome banner placed across the top third of the screen. At far left, the banner featured a diamond indicating the runners at each base, which were outlined in blue and would feature a yellow glowing effect whenever a runner was positioned on that specific base. The game scores appeared to the right, with team initials placed in black boxes encased in a large rectangle featuring the team's colors. while number of runs scored by the respective team were displayed in black on a white background. The inning, number of outs and pitch count, in left to right order, were placed in small black rectangles. The YES logo, at far right, would slide to rightwards to display 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 statistic. After a home run was hit, the diamond would turn blue and display the abbreviation "HR" in the center.
The only subtle to change to the score banner occurred in the 2007 season, as the bases within the diamond were now rendered in black; after a home run was scored, the diamond would turn black before displaying the "HR" abbreviation.
The network adopted a new graphics package in April 2010, on Opening Day of the 2010 Yankees season. The scoreboard graphic reverted to a bug encompassing only the top left portion of the screen. The team names (in their respective colors) and their corresponding score were now overlaid on white-to-black shaded bar, with the base diamond placed at far right. The inning count, outs, and pitching count (balls and strikes) was placed in a black graphical bar under the main banner; while the current pitcher's pitch count (in black text over a white background) was placed separately to the right. The latter area also is used to show the last pitch speed (displayed in black-over-yellow) for a few moments after each pitch. When a home run is hit, a "HOME RUN" text message along with the player's name scrolls to the left on a background corresponding to the respective team's colors, under which the player's home run count for the season (for example, "7th HR of the season") is denoted.
Brooklyn Nets broadcasts use a variation of this package, with the YES logo rendered in black. Prior to the Nets' relocation from New Jersey to Brooklyn in 2012, the YES logo was displayed in red.
At its launch, YES became embroiled in a carriage dispute with Cablevision (which attempted to purchase the Yankees in 1998 and carried the team's games on MSG Network at the time of the channel's launch), leaving the Yankees' game telecasts not available to the provider's game telecasts for an entire year; this led the New York state government to intervene and serve as negotiator for a temporary carriage agreement between YES and Cablevision. In 2004, the two sides eventually signed a long-term contract to carry the network on Cablevision's New York area systems. This situation was very similar to another lengthy dispute that Cablevision entered into with MSG Network, after that network assumed the regional cable television rights to the Yankees in 1989 from Cablevision-owned SportsChannel New York.
Dish Network remains[when?] the only pay television provider available in the New York City area that does not carry YES Network. The satellite provider has indicated that it would not offer the network unless it negotiates a lower per-channel subscriber fee due to concerns that the rates the network offered could force the provider to increase the pricing of its programming packages. YES, however, has a most favored nation clause with all of its cable and satellite providers, in which all of the network's other carriage agreements would be voided if it lowered its subscriber rate for a single provider. Former YES minority owner Goldman Sachs also maintains an ownership stake in Dish Network parent Echostar.
Time Warner Cable relocated YES from channel 30 to channel 53 on its New York City area systems in March 2008, soon after the New York City Council approved a measure to provide the Yankees public funding to build a new stadium. Simultaneously, Time Warner Cable moved business news channel Bloomberg Television to YES' former channel 30 slot, all while renegotiating its ten-year contract with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (owner of Bloomberg Television parent Bloomberg L.P.) and the city of New York.
In 2003, Don Zimmer (then employed with the Yankees as a bench coach) expressed criticism of team owner George Steinbrenner in interviews with certain local media outlets. After this came to light, it was later rumored that, in response, Steinbrenner 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 Series championship win prior to its telecast of a Red Sox home game against the Yankees at Fenway Park. YES was roundly criticized for this move, including its decision to use a fixed camera shot focused tightly on correspondent Kimberly Jones as she described the events surrounding her in general terms. Yankees players not only witnessed the ceremonies, but graciously applauded them from the top steps of their dugout. Perhaps due to this incident, YES broadcast the majority of the ceremonies honoring the Red Sox' celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park in 2012.
During the 2005 season, New York City area newspapers reported that the post-game questions asked to Yankees manager Joe Torre by Kimberly Jones were being sent to her by top-level team executives (quite possibly on directives from George 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 his agreement with the network. YES now sends its reporter to the regular pre-game and post-game media sessions with other broadcast outlets.
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