The new Yankees Entertainment & Sports regional network has hired experienced TV exec Marc Rosenweig to be its senior VP of programming as part of a master plan to get clearance on the major cable systems in the New York area.
The two crucial operators that YES needs to engineer a successful launch next April — Cablevision Systems and Time Warner Cable — “don’t want just games but the shoulder programming that goes with the games,” said Leo Hindery, chairman-CEO of YES.
So Hindery went out and signed Rosenweig as YES’ No. 2 programmer. Rosenweig is coming off five years as senior VP of programming and production for King World on the East Coast, responsible for “Inside Edition” and other syndicated magazines, gavelers and talkshows.
Rosenweig and his boss John Filippelli, executive VP of production and programming, will begin developing shows hosted by the coaches of the New York Yankees and the New Jersey Nets pro basketball team — both owned by the parent company YankeesNets — and by the announcers for those teams’ games.
YES will also seek regional sports events not under contract to the Madison Square Garden network or Fox Sports New York, the two other competing sports regionals.
Hindrey said YES may buy a few sports-oriented movies like “The Natural” or “Field of Dreams.” But, he added, “it would be foolish to suggest that we’re going to put much entertainment programming on the schedule.”
YES will start negotiations in the next few weeks to get Cablevision and Time Warner to license the network on their most widely circulated program tiers for a near-record monthly license fee of $2 a subscriber.
That’s a fee that cable operators in the region are almost certain to balk at — which should cause some heated contractual discussions throughout the fall.