YES Network nails Internet deals to expand international presence

By Daniel Latzman

The YES Network, home of the New York Yankees, has reached Web video pacts with Yahoo, Amazon.com, Joost and ROO to broadcast YES programming over the Internet, making the regional sports network accessible to Yankee fans scattered all over the globe.

These deals will expand the reach of the YES network, says Michael Sprito, YES Network director of new media business development. The internet is the best way to increase our international popularity. Everything is in accord with MLB and our satellite providers, and it will ultimately help drive the network.

YES can only air clips of its original program content and not highlights or any live event. The only full format program that will be shown is Center Stage on Joost, but it must be at least 30 days old before airing. Because online viewers are only able to view post-game interviews and quick clips, people will get a taste for the network s content and will be enticed to watch it in the longer format, which will increase ratings.

The idea behind this deal is that the Yankees are a global brand, adds Spirito. With this, we are able to reach a global audience and provide them with whatever we can in conjunction with our deal with Major League Baseball.