Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network and Infinity Broadcasting Corp.
announced an exclusive, five-year radio deal Thursday to air New York Yankees
Major League Baseball games on WCBS-AM in the Greater New York area.
The contract, terms of which were not disclosed, also calls for the games to
air on a Spanish-language station, which will be named later.
The agreement begins with 2002 spring training for the Yankees, and it will
include all regular-season and postseason games.
WCBS-AM's sister station, WFAN-AM, will provide sales, marketing and
production support for the broadcasts.
'YES Network is delighted that WCBS-AM will be our radio partner for all of
the New York Yankees games in the upcoming season. WCBS-AM and its parent,
Infinity Broadcasting, will add to the tradition of excellence of the New York
Yankees on radio, and we are grateful for the relationship.' YES chairman and
CEO Leo J. Hindery Jr. said in a prepared statement.
It was unclear at press time whether WCBS-AM will carry Yankees radiocasts
over the life of the contract.
Published reports have suggested that Yankees games could migrate to WFAN,
the DMA's dominant sports-radio station and currently home to New York Mets MLB
games. The Mets' contract with WFAN concludes with the 2002 season.
Officials from YES did not return calls by press time.
An Infinity spokesman noted that while the YES deal was made with Infinity,
which owns six stations in the market, the terms call for the games to air on
Sources close to the situation also said it is unlikely that Yankees games
will be switched to another Infinity station after next season.
'There has been a lot of speculation and much written that it doesn't make
sense for an all-news radio [station] to break up its lineup for baseball games,
that news isn't the proper environment for the games,' one source close to the
'Technically, Infinity has the right [to move the games to another station].
It is expected, though, that the games will air for five years on WCBS,' the
'I suppose if the ratings were way off [from WABC's performance], there might
be a change,' the source said. 'But shifting the games to WFAN would break up
the continuity and whatever momentum WCBS builds next season.'
The deal marks the second for YES with a Viacom Inc.-owned property. YES
previously announced an agreement with WCBS-TV for the television broadcast of
20 regular-season games on channel 2 in New York.
YES -- which plans to air as many as 130 Yankees
regular-season games in the 2002 campaign -- has yet to strike any carriage
deals with cable operators for the regional sports network.