You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TW takes a swing at YES

Another mess at bat over extra charge

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees-owned YES Network appears headed for another bruising court battle with a local cable operator less than three months after it settled a nightmarish yearlong legal donnybrook with Chuck Dolan’s Cablevision Systems.

Citing the YES agreement with Dolan as a model, Time Warner Cable of New York City said that, as of July 29, it would slap a $1 a month pricetag on YES.

YES was quick to respond, emailing a statement that read, in part, “We view this as a breach of Time Warner’s agreement with YES and … will take the necessary action to protect our rights.”

Higher tier

A TW Cable spokeswoman made no bones about the cable operator’s goal, which is to put the regional sports networks — traditionally the most expensive program services — on a tier that would cost subscribers an extra monthly fee. The other option is for the cable system to charge separate prices for each sports net.

YES will definitely take TW Cable to court in the next few days, demanding an injunction to stop the cable operator from going ahead with its extra charge until a judge rules on the merits of the case.

‘Most-favored’ clause

TW Cable said it’s merely engineering a variation on the Cablevision deal, which places a $1.95 monthly fee on YES for about 60% of its customers, giving them the lower-cost option of buying YES on a tier with MSG and Fox Sports New York for $4.95 a month. TW Cable has a most-favored-nations clause with YES that theoretically allows it to rewrite the contract in midstream.

Subscribers to TW Cable who pay the current expanded-basic fee will continue to get YES. But customers who don’t care about YES will, as of July 29, be able to inform TW Cable, which will remove YES and lower the bill by $1 a month.

TW Cable comes out ahead in the deal because for every $1 it has to give back to subscribers, it saves the per-sub license fee of $2.12 per month it pays to YES.

No interruption

YES sources say that even though they regard TW Cable’s action as a blatant breach of the contract, they will not remove the network from the 1.2 million subscribers that TW serves in the New York area.

Removing YES would only stir the still-raw memories of the 2.9 million Cablevision Yankee fans deprived of the cable games for the full 2002 season.

But YES is obliged to fight TW Cable’s refurbished deal because Cablevision is contractually obliged to shoulder any losses that YES would suffer from the rewritten contract.

More TV

  • DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi

    DRG Boards Sales on Scandi Sci-Fi Mystery Series ‘The White Wall’

    Scandinavian sci-fi series “The White Wall” is coming to the international market, starting at NATPE, after DRG picked up international rights to the upcoming project. Finland’s Fire Monkey and Nice Drama, part of the Nordic Entertainment Group, are making “The White Wall” for Swedish pubcaster SVT and its Finnish counterpart, YLE. It will feature a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • R. KellyR. Kelly in concert at

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Producers on the Lifetime Doc's Ripple Effect

    The ripple effect of “Surviving R. Kelly” continues to widen more than a week after the documentary aired on Lifetime, renewing public interest — and outrage — over the litany of sexual abuse allegations against the R&B artist. Lady Gaga and Phoenix have apologized for working with him. Chance the Rapper and other artists are said to [...]

  • Yellowstone

    Viacom Lays Off Paramount Network Staffers Amid Reorganization (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viacom has laid off a number of staffers in its entertainment group, with the majority of the affected employees hailing from Paramount Network, Variety has learned exclusively. A Viacom spokesperson declined to comment. But a source with knowledge of the situation that the number of affected employees was fewer than 20, or less than 2% of [...]

  • The Last OG

    TV News Roundup: 'Last O.G.' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date on TBS

    In today’s TV News Roundup, “The Last O.G.” announces its Season 2 return date and Variety has the exclusive first look at Fox’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent.” FIRST LOOKS Netflix has announced its new limited series “Black Earth Rising” will launch on Jan. 25. The contemporary thriller series stars Michaela Coel as Kate Ashby, a Rwandan girl [...]

  • Matt Walsh

    'Veep' Star Matt Walsh to Lead ABC Comedy Pilot 'Happy Accident'

    Matt Walsh has been tapped for a lead role in the upcoming ABC single-camera comedy pilot “Happy Accident.” In the series, two Pittsburgh families – a father (Walsh) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer with her med student son – are forced together after a decades-old secret is revealed. Walsh currently stars in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content