The Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network turned up the heat a notch in its ongoing carriage dispute with Comcast, enlisting top New York Yankees players like CC Sabathia in TV spots urging fans to switch cable providers and even offering customers a few choice words to ask the cable provider when they call to cancel service.
Comcast dropped YES in November after what it called the regional sports network’s demands for an exorbitant price increase. The blackout affects about 900,000 Comcast customers in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Earlier this month, a group of 30 Connecticut state legislators wrote a letter to Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and YES CEO Tracy Dolgin to settle their differences and bring the network back to Comcast customers.
YES began a campaign earlier this month to inform Yankees fans of the dispute and to urge them to switch providers if they want to see the team’s Opening day contest, scheduled for April 4. the network has enlisted a few top Yankees in TV spots and print ads, including third baseman Alex Rodriquez, pitcher Dellin Betances and the latest, pitcher CC Sabathia.
In the spot, Sabathia tells viewers he’s getting ready for another exciting season of Yankees baseball, “But if you’re a Comcast Xfinity customer, you will not be able to watch any of the Yankees’ games this season.”
On its website – keepyesnetwork.com – the channel also offers links for customers to get YES from another provider, call Comcast and keep up with news around the blackout. In addition, the channel offers a list of seven questions to ask the distributor when it calls to drop service. Here are a few:
- “So you’ve made ‘steady improvements’ to your customer service but you dropped Yes Network, my rates went up and I’m going to miss the Yankees on YES this season !?!?
- “So you’ll keep the Mets on SNY, a network Comcast owns, but have no problem taking my Yankees away? That’s so wrong!”
- “Fans who receive YES Network through their provider can stream games on their mobile device for free. How come Comcast isn’t providing that option for me?”