YES Still Says 'No' To Cablevision's Live TV Apps


Six months after Cablevision System released an iPad app that lets customers watch live TV on the tablets in their homes, regional sports network YES Network continues to insist that the cable operator does not have the rights to offer its programming in that fashion.

YES, the regional sports network home of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets, notified Cablevision in April that it objected to the iPad app. While the RSN has not initiated legal action against Cablevision, YES maintains that the service is not authorized.

"Cablevision does not have the right to offer the YES Network in the manner it is doing so on the iPad, and it has been notified as such," YES spokesman Eric Handler said in an e-mail Tuesday. "We expect to have this resolved one way or another before the start of the 2012 baseball season."

Cablevision declined to comment on YES specifically. The Bethpage, N.Y.-based operator referred to earlier statements in which the cable operator has asserted it has rights under existing programming contracts to offer live TV to devices within customers' homes.

"Cablevision's agreements with programmers allow us to deliver cable television service to our customers, regardless of how many or what kinds of televisions they have in the home," the MSO said in April. "Programmers are paid based on how many homes we securely connect to their content, not how many televisions display it, so they have never questioned whether a customer has a single TV or a dozen 50-inch flat panels in the home -- it's all cable television."

Cablevision's Optimum App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices provides access to more than 300 live TV channels and the operator's full VOD lineup.

Other programmers had objected to Cablevision's iPad app -- as well as a similar one from Time Warner Cable -- including Viacom, which sued Cablevision in June alleging that the cable operator was distributing its programming without permission.

Cablevision and Viacom settled the litigation in August for undisclosed terms.

In June 2009, YES and Cablevision -- in conjunction with MLB Advanced Media -- announced a deal to provide live Yankees games online to PCs and Macs to the MSO's subscribers in the New York area who take both expanded basic video (or higher) and Optimum Online. The "Yankees on YES" live game streaming over broadband package was available for a onetime fee of $59.99 for the 2011 season or $14.99 for any 30-day period.

YES broadcasts 127 regular-season Yankees games per season.