The TV Answer Man!

Comcast: Can I Still Watch the Yankees On MLB Extra Innings?

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Q. I read the article about Comcast not carrying the Yes Network which has the New York Yankee games. If Comcast doesn’t carry it, can I still watch the Yankees on my MLB Extra Innings package? — John, Boston, Massachusetts. 

John, first, you are right. Comcast and the YES Network are involved in a dispute over carriage fees and, consequently, about 900,000 of the cable operator’s customers in New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania can not watch the Yankee channel.

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So, if Comcast doesn’t have the rights to Yes, does that mean it can’t offer the channel’s broadcasts in its MLB Extra Innings package as well?

If you live in those aforementioned three markets, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania, the answer is yes. You can’t watch them. The Yankee games on both Yes, and the channel that covers the team the Yanks are playing, will be blacked out on Extra Innings.

That’s a long-standing policy of Major League Baseball and the other professional sports leagues. They have negotiated lucrative deals with the TV providers — and the regional sports channels — and if suddenly you could bypass those to watch your local team via an online pay package, those deals would be worth nothing. (Of course, there is an alternative.)

But let’s jump to a question that will affect even more people.

Could you watch the Yes broadcasts (or other broadcasts involving the Yanks) in Comcast’s Extra Innings package if you live outside those three blacked out markets?

The answer is yes again. John Demming, a Comcast spokesman, has confirmed to the TV Answer Man that the cable op’s Extra Innings plan includes Yes Network games out-of-market. For example, John, a Comcast subscriber in Boston, which is not in the Yankees market, will get Yes games in Extra Innings.

(By the way, DIRECTV, which does not carry SportsNet LA, the LA Dodgers channel, offers SportsNet LA games out-of-market in its Extra Innings lineup.)

Happy Viewing!

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