By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, can you give us the details for the new YES Network app for cord cutters. Little confused here in the big city. — Marcel, New York.
Marcel, the Yes Network, the TV home of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, announced yesterday that it has launched a streaming service in the New York market to watch the teams’ live games without a pay TV subscription. (The market includes New York state, Connecticut, north and central New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania.)
The cost? $24.99 a month and $239.99 annually. But Yes will offer a promotional price of $19.99 a month and $199.99 annually until April 30.
“We are pleased to introduce a direct subscription option,” Yes CEO Jon Litner said in a press release. “For more than 20 years, YES has provided fans with a best-in-class sports viewing experience. Fans continue to tune in to and engage with YES in record numbers for the most in-depth and most innovative coverage of our teams and our other award-winning programming. With this new direct-to- consumer offering, we are broadening our reach by making YES available to more fans in our regional footprint than ever before.”
If the Yes prices seem high even with the promotion, NESN 360, which offers Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins games in New England without a pay TV sub, charges $29.99 a month and $329.99 annually. MSG, the TV home of the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Sabres, has announced it will launch a cord-cutter app this summer for $29.99 a month and $309.99 annually.
The new standalone apps may be for cord-cutters, but they are not necessarily for cost-cutters.
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The launch of Yes’ standalone service is part of an industry trend with regional sports networks offering standalone services for cord-cutters. In addition to NESN 360 and MSG, the Bally Sports RSNs and the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers games are available without a pay TV subscription.
With cable and satellite subs declining, the RSNs are seeking new revenue sources, particularly from the growing cord-cutter audience. The RSN industry has seen its subscribers and revenue shrink in the last few years, triggering a bankruptcy filing this month from Diamond Sports, the operating unit for Bally Sports.
You can learn more about how to sign up for the new Yes Network service, and which devices are compatible, here.
Marcel, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann