YES Network praised the New Jersey Assembly's passage, by a 60-0 vote, Thursday of a measure (AR-143) urging Comcast and YES to resolve their lengthy carriage impasse. About 600,000 Comcast Xfinity TV subscribers in the Garden State and another 300,000 in Connecticut and parts of Pennsylvania have been without the regional sports network -- owned by 21st Century Fox (80%) and the New York Yankees -- since Nov. 18, 2016.
Comcast has balked at paying the nearly $6 per subscriber, per month that YES Network charges, and Fox, which handles distribution duties for the RSN, has been unable to move the needle in talks with the nation's largest cable-TV provider.
The New Jersey Assembly action -- which has no legal impact on the situation -- follows similar jawboning efforts by other politicians, including by the two U.S. senators in Connecticut.
A YES Network statement said, in part, "Yankees games on YES are among the highest-rated, most-watched TV programs in the Tri-State area, and we appreciate the efforts of state legislators who, with broad bi-partisan support, are demanding that this vital programming be made available to their constituents. We have made clear our willingness to return to the negotiating table and will continue to do everything in our power to restore YES to Yankees fans across New Jersey and to inform Comcast subscribers of the other TV providers across the region that continue to carry YES.”
During a chat with reporters at the INTX 2016 convention in Boston 10 days ago, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts -- who had spoken at a general session and promoted NBCUniversal's upcoming broadcasts of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio -- said "we are learning from the experience we’re having in New Jersey and we do hope to get it resolved at some point, but maybe not.”