The Bronx Bombers are only even on the field at the All-Star break, but YES Network’s audience with New York Yankees telecasts grew by almost a quarter during the first half of the 2014 Major League Baseball season.
Averaging 283,000 viewers in the New York DMA with its Yankees games, YES concluded the first half of the 2014 MLB campaign as the most-watched regional sports network in both primetime and total day. That was up 24% from the 228,000 watchers in the first half of last season, according to Nielsen data. Interest in the club no doubt has been stoked by the final season of Yankees captain Derek Jeter and the performance of Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka, who is now on the disabled list with an elbow injury.
Yankees game ratings were up by double-digits in key demos: 29% for males 18 to 49; 31% for males 25 to 54; 16% for persons 18 to 49 ; 23% for persons 25 to 54.
Additionally, total viewership for Yankees pregame show was 28%, while the postgame grew 19% among total viewers.
Officials at YES, which has been the most-watched RSN in the country 10 of the past 11 years, said its performance also benefited from solid ratings with its simulcasts of ESPN Radio New York's Michael Kay Show. Since debuting on Feb. 3, the Kay simulcasts, hosted by YES’s principal play-by-play man on its Yankees telecasts, averaged 19,000 viewers in the New York DMA. That was 36% greater than the 14,000 average for its predecessor, The Mike Francesa Show during the same span in 2013. Francesa’s show is now simulcast on FS1 and FS2.
During the first half of 2014, YES averaged 58,000 TV households in the New York DMA from Dec. 30, 2013 through June 29, 2014 during primetime (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.), a 16% gain over the corresponding period in 2013. The delivery was 23% more than NESN’s 47,000 in its hometown market of Boston, according to YES officials.
Gauged on a total-day basis (6 a.m. to 2 a.m.), YES posted a 14% gain to 24,000 households from 21,000 a year ago, to stand 41% of second-place NESN, which scored 17,000 homes in The Hub on average.
YES’s digital properties have also scored well, registering a 96% surge in video views, year-over-year, with an 18% gain in unique visitors to YESNetwork.com