The New York Yankees, Amazon Prime Video, and the YES Network have struck a deal to live stream 21 New York Yankees games this regular season on Prime Video at no additional cost to Prime members. The first is scheduled for April 17.
Well now. The Cubs have already signed up for streaming service Hulu+, and there’s still a chance they will reach a deal with YouTube TV, the latter despite this news Thursday morning:
The Sinclair-YouTube TV negotiations have fallen apart, and Fox RSNs, YES are now dark on the OTT platform. Yankees-controlled YES blasts both YouTube TV as well as its own equity partner Sinclair, & says team will not be in any national YouTube TV games. https://t.co/vQxXO20Z0n— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) March 5, 2020
I continue to believe that the YTTV/Sinclair news amounts to posturing, as is often the case in negotiations like this, and that the two parties will continue to work on a deal. The YES Network put out a pretty strong statement, though:
Sounds as though YES Network is criticizing its own part-owner, Sinclair, in its statement about being dropped from YouTube TV. Sinclair negotiates distribution for YES, as well as the Fox Sports-branded RSNs. https://t.co/VWFeSWb1D7— Alex M. Silverman (@AlexMSilverman) March 5, 2020
As they say in the biz: “Stay tuned.”
Back to Yankees/Amazon: There is one catch to this deal, and you see it in the limit of 21 games above:
Prime members in the Yankees home-team footprint in New York state, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania, and north and central New Jersey will have access to the games. They will be simulcasts of games produced by YES for airing on PIX11 and other over-the-air partners for Yankees telecasts.
Unlike the Cubs, the Yankees hold out 21 games for over-the-air broadcast in their local market. So these games would only be seen on Amazon Prime within the broadcast area noted above. If the Cubs wanted to sign a deal with Amazon Prime, they’d probably want to sell the entire 150-game package — which would be a great deal for Amazon Prime Video subscribers. Also note — if that somehow did happen, Marquee coverage on Amazon Prime would be limited to the Cubs market territory in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and small parts of southeast Wisconsin and southwest lower Michigan.
I’m sure the Cubs are investigating as many options as they can to get Marquee coverage in the market area. Unfortunately, I have no update on Comcast/Xfinity negotiations. But Opening Day is three weeks from today. They still have time.