YES Network Reportedly Launching Direct-to-Consumer Product for MLB Season

By Jessica Lerner 

YES Network, the channel that airs the majority of Yankees games, plans to provide a direct-to-customer service, according to The New York Post.

The service has a tentative launch for March 30, but the start date could be moved.

Yankees president and YES chairman Randy Levine said in late July YES would have a direct-to-consumer product “very soon.”

Right now, the only way to watch YES Network without cable is through DirecTV Stream.

The direct-to-consumer service will only be available in local rights areas, though distribution may expand in the future. The price for the service is unknown.

Regional sports networks have become more frequent as of late.

In July, NESN became the first regional sports network to launch a direct-to-consumer platform. In September, Bally Sports+, a streaming service from Diamond Sports Group, debuted across all 19 Bally Sports regional sports TV networks.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Clippers offered the first-ever localized NBA streaming service, ClipperVision, in October.

There has also been a larger trend of media companies snapping up sports rights and making them available to stream.

Amazon is in year one of an 11-year agreement with the NFL for exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football. Apple TV+ and Peacock both secured exclusive windows for Major League Baseball. Additionally, Apple and the MLS recently struck a 10-year streaming rights deal beginning in 2023.

Netflix has also reportedly tried to acquire streaming rights to several sports leagues and events over the past few months.