Yankees RSN YES Network Officially Goes DTC

YES Network
(Image credit: YES Network)

As it promised, the YES Network, the regional sports network home of baseball’s New York Yankees and pro basketball’s Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, is launching a direct-to-consumer streaming product in time for the Yankees’ 2023 regular season opener. 

Starting Wednesday, consumers in the New York region can pay $19.99 a month, or $199.99 for a full year, to stream the YES Network sans a pay TV subscription via the YES app. 

Those who sign up after April 30 will pay the regular price of $24.99 a month or $239.99 annually. 

YES remains distributed, for now, on Altice USA’s Optimum, Charter Spectrum, Verizon Fios TV, Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV and DirecTV Stream, Blue Ridge Communications and Cox Contour, among other pay TV platforms.

Customers of those services can still stream YES, TV Everywhere style, via the RSN's app at no additional cost. 

The YES app is widely supported by Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Apple TV and Samsung-connected TV operating systems, 

“For more than 20 years, YES has provided fans with a best-in-class sports viewing experience,” said Jon D. Litner, CEO of the YES Network, in a statement. “Fans continue to tune in to and engage with YES in record numbers for the most in-depth and most innovative coverage of our teams and our other award-winning programming. With this new direct-to-consumer offering, we are broadening our reach by making YES available to more fans in our regional footprint than ever before.”

Notably, just like last season, 20 YES Network-produced Yankees telecasts will be exclusively distributed by Amazon Prime Video, with the SVOD’s subscribers able to stream the games at no additional cost. 

The Yankees are YES’s largest shareholder, but the channel is co-owned by Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios ... and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which recently filed for bankruptcy for its fully owned collection of Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks. 

The broader regional sports networks business has suffered recently, as cord-cutting has eroded its distribution base while sports team constituents continue to up their licensing demands. 

A number of RSNs have gone over the top, but it remains to be seen if this is a long-term solution for their distribution woes … or if it will merely alienate their struggling pay TV operator partners. 

The Bally Sports channels went DTC last summer, but with only five of the 14 Major League Baseball teams under the RSNs’ banner agreeing to license their digital rights for Bally Sports Plus.

Sinclair, which operates its RSNs through its Diamond Sports Group subsidiary, has yet to release any customer metrics on Bally Sports Plus, which first entered beta in June of last year. 

Just prior to the Bally Sports Plus launch, New England Sports Network, RSN home of MLB's Boston Red Sox and the NHL’s Boston Bruins, hoisted NESN 360. But NESN, too, has been cagey about releasing DTC uptake data. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!