No Game, No Talks Between YES, Comcast

Yankees rainout delays Opening Day to April 5
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As dark clouds surrounded the New York area Monday, postponing the New York Yankees Opening Day game with the Houston Astros until Tuesday (April 5), hopes were even dimmer that the extra day could help unlock the impasse in negotiations between Comcast and the regional sports network that carries the games – the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network.

Cold, rainy weather  threatened the New York area on Monday, forcing Yankee Stadium to roll out the tarp and hope for better conditions Tuesday. On the YES Network website, the regional sports network said the game would be rescheduled  to April 5 at 1:05 p.m., and would be broadcast on the channel, “except in areas serviced by Comcast.”

Representatives from both Comcast and YES Network said there are no current carriage talks between the two. Comcast has about 900,000 subscribers in parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Tuesday’s contest is expected to be a rematch of the 2015 American League Wild Card game, pitting Yankees fire-balling right-hander Masahiro Tanaka against Astros 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.  The Astros won the AL Wild Card last year, only to be defeated in the Divisional matchup by eventual World Series winner the Kansas City Royals.

YES and Comcast have been embroiled in a carriage dispute since November. The YES/Comcast imbroglio is mirrored on the West Coast as operators other than Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Bright House Networks (all expected to merge shortly) have passed at carrying the regional sports channel – SportsNetLA – that airs the Los Angeles Dodgers. In both disputes, the high price of the networks is considered the main sticking point in negotiations.    

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