Cablevision to YES: Tier Up


Cablevision Systems Corp. scored a major victory in its battle with Yankees
Entertainment & Sports Network, as the MSO said it will offer the network on
an a la carte basis, which was the model YES CEO Leo J. Hindery Jr. had fought
from day one.

Cablevision said it will also kick its own sports networks -- Madison Square
Garden Network and Fox Sports Net New York -- out of basic and offer all three
networks in a $4.95 monthly sports tier.

Or subscribers can select the networks individually for $1.95 each per

While it may appear on the surface that Hindery caved from his "basic or
nothing" stance, he managed to get Cablevision to distribute YES the same way it
distributes MSGN and FSN New York.

Some 1 million Cablevision customers who get MSGN and FSN New York on a
premium tier will also get YES, so the network is only guaranteed one-third of
the MSO's reach.

While Cablevision is charging less for YES than it is paying Major League
Baseball's New York Yankees, it will make money by using the network to drive
digital-package sales and by forcing subscribers to get set-tops in order to
watch local sports.

In related news, Cablevision said YES will drop its antitrust suit versus the
MSO if the two parties extend their interim carriage deal.

YES and Cablevision will go into binding arbitration next year if their deal
isn't finalized.