YES Adds 'NFL Now' To Francesa Weekday Simulcasts3/02/2009 12:00 PM Eastern
The YES Network has inked a new multiyear extension with WFAN to continue simulcasting Mike Francesa's radio talk show.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, calls for YES to continue to air Mike'D Up: Francesa on the FAN live weekdays from 1 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m (ET) and add the host's authoritative The NFL Now on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon during pro football season.
The NFL Now, a staple on WFAN since 1987, includes in-depth news and analysis, coach and player interviews and listener call-ins, along with Francesa's expert commentary.
Francesa has been a fixture on the YES since its launch in March 2002. At that time, YES was the first network - nationally or regionally - to simulcast a sports talk radio show, with Francesa teaming with Chris "Mad Dog" Russo through last summer
Since going solo on Aug. 18, 2008 through Feb. 25, Francesa's ratings on YES have improved 16.7%, according to network officials.
The average TV household rating YES garnered for its Francesa weekday simulcasts in January more than doubled the ratings average of the other three New York regional sports networks -- MSG, MSG Plus and SNY -- during the time period, 0.24 to a 0.11.
"New Yorkers have tuned in to Mike Francesa for more than 20 years, and we are excited that he will continue to be a valuable part of the YES network," said John Filippelli, Yes president of production and programming, in a statement. "Mike was hugely instrumental in setting the tone for the sports radio genre nationwide, and his influence within the sports arena can not be understated. We at YES look forward to introducing new components which will take his shows and our simulcasts to a new level."
Noted Mark Chernoff, vice president of sports programming, CBS Radio and operations director of WFAN: "Our relationship with the YES Network was groundbreaking at the time we began and has led many to follow in our footsteps. Great content, as Mike has proven he can deliver time and again, need not be limited to any one distribution platform. Expanding this program to television has greatly benefited Mike's audience and contributed to the overall strength of the station's brand."