Promos Pitch Local Broadband Yankees Package

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With a little over two weeks until its local broadband streaming service goes live, YES Network, Cablevision Systems and MLB Advanced Media are already throwing out promotional pitches to consumers.
The partners -- in what is being billed as the first local streamed game package within a regional sports network's broadcast territory -- will put promotional weight behind the YES simulcasts of Yankees games. Beginning July 8 with the Yankees-Minnesota Twins game, the service will cost $49.95 for the balance of the season, or $19.95 for any 30-day period. None of the partners would discuss the broadband offering's revenue split.
The package, accessible via YESNetwork.com, Yankees.com and Optimum.net, will be streamed to Cablevision customers who subscribe to both its Family Cable (expanded basic) video package and its Optimum Online high-speed Internet service. MLBAM will authenticate the attendant subscriptions.
For its part, YES will begin touting the service tonight during its coverage of the Yankees-Atlanta Braves game. YES president and CEO Tracy Dolgin said play-by-play man Michael Kay and other on-air team members will give "pops" on the telecast. Dolgin, speaking today during a conference call announcing the service, noted there would also be short spots flagging the broadband package, as well as two-minute tutorials on the RSN. Additionally, messages and information will run on YESNetwork.com.
For its part, Cablevision will feature promos on its digital channel guide, and run banners on consumer portal optimum.net. It will also air cross-channel spots produced by YES. All of those tactics are expected to be put into play today.
As for baseball itself, MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman said promos will run on MLB.com and its Yankees.com site. He said the product will require an educational process, noting that if new digital entries necessitate two to three pages of FAQs, this one will require more because only "some fans have read" about it.
Just as Dolgin said YES is having discussions with other distributors about the broadband service and expects to reach other deals, MLB anticipates that other clubs, RSNs and distributors will launch similar in-market streaming services this season.
In the meantime, eligible Cablevision customers who purchase the package will be able to watch YES' Yankees telecasts live on their computer throughout the RSN's four-state broadcasting territory, or on laptops or other portable devices, including powerful cell phones, using Cablevision's Optimum WiFi wireless Internet service.
They will see a simulcast of the YES telecast -- the "dirty feed," replete with the RSN's advertisers. Down the road, Dolgin said if there are enough users of the service, measurement can be coordinated with Nielsen and there is interest from sponsors, the local broadband games package could have its own set of sponsors.

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