×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yes Network Mounts ‘Drop Comcast’ Campaign Amid Carriage Standoff in New York

Fox’s Yes network aims to turn up the pressure in its carriage standoff with Comcast by launching a media blitz to encourage New York City-area viewers to switch providers as the start of baseball season approaches.

Yes’ advertising efforts are expected to be unveiled tomorrow with full-page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers, as well as radio and TV spots, outdoor placements and an aggressive social media strategy. The campaign is a bold tactic that underscores the dollars at stake for regional sports networks, which are increasingly a flash point for tensions among programmers and distributors.

Tracy Dolgin, CEO of Yes, said the two sides have had no substantive conversations since Comcast surprised Fox by dropping the channel in late November. He said Yes felt it had no choice but to spread the word to viewers after months of no movement with Comcast.

“They dropped us,” he told Variety. “We didn’t drop them. We decided we needed to inform viewers about their alternatives before they miss Opening Day.”

Yes is New York’s hometown provider of New York Yankees games as well as the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. It is considered the most successful RSN in the country and one of the priciest cable channels for distributors in the industry at an estimated $5 monthly subscriber fee.

Comcast had carried Yes in about 900,000-1 million homes on the edges of the New York City DMA, mostly in New Jersey, Scranton, Pa., and Connecticut. Comcast had reached an agreement in principle on a new carriage deal for Yes in early 2015 because at the time it expected to become New York City’s largest cable provider, following its acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

But when Comcast’s merger with TW Cable was scuttled last April, Comcast took a hard look at the deal and viewership of Yes, particularly during the Yankees’ off season, and decided the channel wasn’t worth the cost. There was other wrangling on deal points that had been the source of much back-and-forth between the Yes and Comcast camps. But fundamentally, Comcast asserted: “the price/value proposition for the YES network did not justify the price that Fox was asking for the network.”

Dolgin notes that Comcast itself owns eight RSNs including the high-priced CSN channel in Chicago that is home to the city’s NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball teams.

Yes’ newspaper ad features a picture of Yankees pitcher Dellin Petances on the mound and urges viewers to “Drop Comcast Today” and includes a toll-free number for viewers to call for more information. AT&T’s DirecTV could be a beneficiary of the push but has no financial involvement in the effort, Dolgin said.

Fox acquired 49% of Yes in 2012 for $584 million and raised its stake to 80% in January 2014.

 

More TV

  • Outlander 406

    'Outlander' Recap: Jamie Encounters William Again in 'Blood of My Blood'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Blood Of My Blood,” the sixth episode of “Outlander” Season 4. The action in “Blood of My Blood” picked up almost immediately after the previous week’s episode, as evidenced by the fact that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) was still staying with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and [...]

  • The Flash -- "Elseworlds, Part 1"

    'Elseworlds, Part 1' Recap: Barry Allen and Oliver Queen Swap Skills, Visit Superman

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 1,” the first part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 9. After past crossovers that introduced beloved characters’ doppelgangers, a wedding and death, “Elseworlds,” the fifth annual “Arrowverse” event, had a lot to which to live up. Unlike previous years, [...]

  • Stranger Things

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Teaser Reveals Episode Titles, 2019 Release

    Netflix dropped a new teaser for the upcoming third season of “Stranger Things” Sunday, confirming that it will land on the streamer in 2019. The teaser also revealed the episode titles for the third season, which are as follows: “Suzie, Do You Copy?,” “The Mall Rats,” “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” “The Sauna Test,” [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • Michael Che Defends Kevin Hart on

    Michael Che Ribs Academy Over Kevin Hart Controversy on 'SNL'

    Kevin Hart may have alienated some in Hollywood over his recently resurfaced homophobic tweets, but that didn’t stop “Weekend Update” co-host Michael Che from cracking some jokes in support of Hart on Dec. 8’s “Saturday Night Live.” After briefly recapping that Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars after the 2011 tweets came to light, [...]

  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY

    'The Umbrella Academy' Superheroes Series Premiere Date Set on Netflix

    The dysfunctional-family superheroes of “The Umbrella Academy” are landing on Netflix worldwide on Feb. 15, 2019. The live-action series is based on the “Umbrella Academy” comic books created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, published by Dark Horse Comics. The Netflix original series comprises 10 one-hour episodes. “The Umbrella Academy” stars [...]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jason Momoa"

    Robert De Niro Appears as Robert Mueller in 'Saturday Night Live' Cold Open

    Robert De Niro made a surprise appearance as special counsel Robert Mueller in “Saturday Night Live’s” cold open. De Niro popped out of a closet in a sketch that skewered President Donald Trump and the mounting legal pressure Mueller’s investigation has put on many of Trump’s associates. Alex Moffatt played Eric Trump in a bedtime-story [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content