YES, DirecTV Play Interactive Ball

New York -- DirecTV Inc. will offer an interactive service with content from Major League Baseball during Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network telecasts of New York Yankees games starting this July, officials said Wednesday.

The multiyear deal was announced by Eric Shanks, executive vice president of DirecTV Entertainment, at an investors’ meeting the direct-broadcast satellite provider held here.

With the partnership, YES claimed that it will become the first regional sports network in the country to offer its viewers true, single-screen interactive content. (, the official MLB Web site, will be the source for the application's constantly updated statistics, scores, records and other data feeds.

The interactive offering will be available this summer, after the league’s All-Star Game.

YES' first-ever interactive-programming offering will include live up-to-the-minute statistics; live in-game box scores and scoreboards; a bonus "StarCam" camera focusing on a particular star each inning; and a daily interactive game.

The enhanced features will be available to DirecTV customers living in YES’ footprint at no additional cost.

YES chief operating officer Ray Hopkins, who was present at the DirecTV conference, said the deal between his network and DirecTV was signed Tuesday night.

He added that he’s hoping the interactive feature will increase YES’ viewership by hopping up the level of “stickiness,” or the length of time audiences stay glued to the tube.

YES is available as part of DirecTV’s “Total Choice” monthly programming service to residential customers in the network’s footprint, including New York, Connecticut and areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Customers living in these areas must have interactive-capable DirecTV receivers to access the enhanced features.