If it’s a day ending in “y” and a month with at least 30 days, it means another cable provider-network dispute. This one involves two major media companies, Comcast and Fox as they battle over carriage on Xfinity systems in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvannia. The blackout of YES affects some 900,000 homes and has been ongoing since November.
And even with YES transitioning from its coverage of the Brooklyn Nets to its main bread-and-butter of the New York Yankees, Comcast doesn’t appear in any rush to bring the network back to its system. At issue is of course, money. Comcast says YES is too expensive to carry as it has the highest subscriber fees of all of the regional sports network across country.
In 2015, YES Network’s average fee was about $6 per customer, according to SNL Kagan. The broadcaster is seeking to raise its fee by about 30 percent, (Adam) Gajo (of SNL Kagan) wrote in his report.
Comcast is hoping to send a message that it won’t be swayed to carry a network it feels costs too much. YES’ parent company, Fox wants Comcast to bring back the network so Yankees fans will be able to watch games in 2016 without interruption. YES has been urging disgruntled Comcast subscribers to find another provider. But Comcast has been steadfast in its contention that it won’t budge.
Comcast’s contract with YES actually expired last year during baseball season, but it negotiated various deals to keep YES on Xfinity systems, but once NBA season began, the network went dark and has remained so ever since.
A YES spokesman issued a statement saying that it doesn’t appear that the dispute will be resolved any time soon:
“Unfortunately, Comcast subscribers will not be able to watch the Yankees on YES this season because Comcast dropped YES in November,” a YES Network spokesman said in a statement. “There are no indications that Comcast will return YES to its lineup.”
So once again, subscribers are caught in the middle and waiting to see if Comcast will finally relent and bring YES back or if it will dig in its heels keeping the network off for the foreseeable future.