The New York Yankees will become the first MLB team to have its games streamed live online within its home market, thanks to a landmark carriage deal YES Network signed with Cablevision earlier this spring.
The streamed games will begin later this season and will be available via subscription to Cablevision’s TV and broadband customers who subscribe to a tier that carries the YES Network, according to several baseball and cable industry sources.
The pact also marks the first major effort within baseball for in-market streaming — an issue that has troubled the industry for years. Several clubs that hold equity interest in regional sports networks, such as the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, have pressed for in-market streaming to complement MLB.TV’s out-of-market online video package.
Even if you don't have Cablevision, this is interesting news. Although three-way negotiations are rarely simple, I've never understood why teams, networks and the MLB couldn't agree on a revenue split for streaming the games over the internet. It's a legitimate untapped resource. Especially during day games, there are lots of people trapped at work who would love to be able to watch the game but have no access to a TV. Provided the commercials are still present during the broadcast, more eyes means more money, right?
Kudos to the Yankees and Cablevision for finally ironing this out. It seems inevitable that this will move beyond just Cablevision and just NYC to larger cable companies and throughout the MLB.