YES Network said it has an agreement with Verizon's FiOS TV to offer New York Yankees' game telecasts and other programming on demand in New York state and in north and central New Jersey, the first VOD affiliation pact for the regional-sports ratings leader.
Starting today (April 8), FiOS TV subscribers will gain VOD access to Yankees Major League Baseball game telecasts and shows including the CenterStage interview show and The Joe Girardi Show with the Yankees' manager, YES said.
The network, partly owned by the Yankees, said a game telecast would be available on demand after it had been replayed twice on YES. That second replay on YES starts at 9 a.m. the following day. The first Yankee game on the FiOS TV VOD offering is Monday's Yankees-Baltimore Orioles game, available on demand now.
Only one game at a time will be on VOD, YES said.
Offering game telecasts on VOD is relatively new to regional sports networks, which typically replay the games on their air with advertising. Comcast SportsNet regionals in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area are offering Cubs, White Sox, Giants and Athletics baseball games on an on-demand basis for the first time this season after several CSN channels began experimenting with on-demand content last season, according to officials.
Comcast concluded that the VOD audience, while growing, was still too small to affect network ratings. Instead, the on-demand replays provide a value added option for both fans and local cable operators, CSN senior vice president of news operations Princell Hair told Multichannel News last month.
Fox Sports Net, which runs 19 regional sports channels, is still examining the opportunities to offer replayed games on demand, according to network officials. FSN already offers news and interview shows on-demand via its Detroit, Carolinas and Arizona networks, with remaining networks rolling out VOD in the near future, officials said.
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