First, the good news: In a first for baseball, Yankees fans living in the New York market will be able to stream games played locally. Now, the not-so-great news: There are a few hoops you’ll have to jump through first.
Typically, baseball games played in a local market are blacked out because of economic arrangements between the teams and Major League Baseball. In this case, Yankees games are being made available online through Cablevision, which carries the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network on TV.
Before fans in NY can stream a local game, they’ll need to be a Cablevision broadband and cable subscriber, and they’ll also need to get the package that includes the YES Network. Games will be made available on Yankees.com (which is operated by MLB Advanced Media), YESNetwork.com, and Cablevision’s OptimumOnline.com. But there’s one more catch. According to the Sports Business Journal (emphasis ours):
The YES-Cablevision deal also includes a subscription fee that users would pay to access the games. It’s not known how much that subscription would cost, and, again, how revenue would be shared. The peak price for the entire MLB.TV national package, by comparison, is $89.95.
Authentication is the big buzzword for 2009 as more providers are putting select content behind some kind of subscription wall. But as Staci Kramer over at paidContent points out, this additional fee appears to be taking things one step further, requiring subscribers to pay twice to watch their local games — once for TV and again for online.