El Segundo, Calif. – Direct broadcast satellite TV provider DirecTV said it has struck the first distribution deal to carry the Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network.
DirecTV said it would begin offering YES Network as part of its Total Choice monthly programming service March 19, 2002 to residential customers in the YES Network footprint, including New York, Connecticut and areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Portions of the YES Newtork will also be offered in DirecTV’s Sports Pack monthly programming service outside of the network’s primary territory, DirecTV said. The Sports Pack programming features more than 20 specialty sports networks from around the country. Up to 130 YES Network broadcasts of New York Yankees games will be available locally to DirecTV customers, a substantial portion of which will be available nationally with the MLB Extra Innings out-of-market sports subscription service. Extra Innings offers up to 35 out-of-market baseball games a week during the MLB regular season.
The YES Network will also be available to DirecTV’s commercial customers.
‘Adding the YES Network and its extensive lineup of Yankees broadcasts has been a priority for DirecTV since the network began to take shape,’ said Roxanne Austin, DirecTV president and COO. ‘We’re very excited to have established a strong relationship with the YES Network – an important network serving one of DirecTV’s most important markets.’
The YES Network will launch on March 19 as a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-per week regional sports and entertainment channel featuring the New York Yankees. In addition to its core live game programming, YES will feature other sports-related programming, game highlights and interview shows.