YES Network, Fubo Strike Multiyear Carriage Agreement Ahead of New York Yankees Season Opener

The Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network has struck a multi-year carriage agreement that will bring the regional sports network’s coverage of the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets to Fubo subscribers.

The deal will add YES Network to the sports streamer’s Pro base channel plan ahead of the former’s coverage of the New York Yankees season opener against the Houston Astros. YES’ pre-game show will begin at 3 p.m. ET, followed by the game telecast at 4 p.m. ET and its post-game show immediately after the game’s conclusion.

“We are excited to reach an agreement with Fubo to bring YES and our best-in-class New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets coverage to Fubo subscribers,” YES Network CEO Jon Litner said in a statement. “As interest in the Yankees continues to soar as we approach Opening Day and the team’s pursuit of its 28th World Series championship, Fubo streaming customers will now enjoy YES’ Emmy Award-winning Yankees coverage all season long.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The partnership with YES comes as Fubo already offers over 55,000 live sporting events annually, with many streaming in 4K, and over 35 regional sports networks in its $79.99 per month base package.

It also offers Major League Baseball coverage through its carriage of MLB.TV, MLB Network, MLB Strike Zone, regional sports networks (RSNs), local broadcast networks and national sports networks ESPN and FS1.

“Fubo is thrilled to bring New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets coverage to fans in the New York City area just in time for the 2024 season,” Fubo content strategy and acquisition senior vice president Todd Mathers said. ““The addition of the YES Network to Fubo’s robust baseball offering – which is broader than any other streaming platform’s – means Yankees fans won’t miss a single pitch on YES. And, as Fubo is the only streaming platform to offer YES in its base plan, everyone in the family can enjoy the sports, news and entertainment content they love at an attractive price point.”

In its fourth quarter of 2023, Fubo reported a total of 1.618 million North American subscribers.

It also comes as Fubo is suing to block Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery’s sports streaming joint venture, which is aiming to launch its own service this fall.

The unnamed service, which has not disclosed pricing details, will provide subscribers with access to content from linear sports networks including ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as the ABC network. Content will include the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, College Sports, UFC, PGA TOUR Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, the FIFA World Cup, cycling and much more. Subscribers would also have the option to bundle the product, with Disney+, Hulu and Max.

Fubo argues that the media giants have engaged years-long campaign of anticompetitive practices to block its business, accusing the trio of leveraging their “iron grip” to “extract billions of dollars in supra-competitive profits” by charging consumers more for sports content, resulting in damage to both the company and its customers. It adds that the sports streaming venture “steals Fubo’s playbook and is the latest example of this campaign.”

Additionally, the complaint slammed Fox, Disney and WBD for forcing Fubo to carry dozens of expensive non-sports channels that its customers don’t want as a condition of licensing sports content, claimed licensing rates are as much as 30% to 50% higher than those charged to other distributors, and argued that they impose non-market penetration requirements, or the percentage of total subscribers to which a content package must be sold to or cannot exceed, which all increase the costs that it must pass onto consumers, resulting in billions of dollars of damages.

“I think that this is a duel to the death,” Fubo CEO David Gandler told analysts when asked during the fourth quarter earnings call if it would relent with its legal challenge given the associated costs and competitive pressure. “We are fighting for our customers. We are fighting for the tens of billions of dollars that are wasted annually by consumers paying for the same content multiple times. This is a very important process. We are sticking to our principles, to our guns.”

Shares of Fubo have fallen 49.6% year to date and 22% in the past month.

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