Yanks first to offer streaming in-market
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports that the Yankees will be the first team to offer streaming of games within their home market. The deal reached between the YES Network and Major League Baseball Advanced Media will let fans in the New York media market buy a subscription to Yankees games that they can stream on laptops, personal computers or other devices in the office or the home. Fans can expect to see similar models in other media markets before long.
Until now, MLB.tv has limited access of their subscribers to out-of-market games in order to protect the rights of regional sports networks and cable companies. It’s likely to be a huge boon for YES, as the New York market expands to New Jersey, Connecticut and even parts of Pennsylvania.
The only annoying catch is that those who purchase the in-market subscription must also be subscribers of the expanded basic service on Cablevision that includes YES Network. The agreement certainly marks progress, as an increasingly mobile society would love the option to watch a Yankees game on their wireless internet connection wherever they may roam.
However, one of the great things about MLB.tv is the ability to have it without also having to purchase a cable subscription. I believe and hope it won’t be long before these networks bypass the cable companies and offer these sorts of subscriptions directly to the fans. They can only delay progress for so long.