YES Network Launches "Drop Comcast" Campaign Ahead of Baseball Season Start
The cable giant stopped carrying the Yankees channel, in which Fox owns an 80 percent stake, in November.
The YES Network, the sports channel focused on New York Yankees baseball that is 80 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, has launched a campaign urging fans who are Comcast subscribers to switch to another pay TV service to ensure they can see the team's regular-season games once the Major League Baseball season starts early next month.
Comcast dropped YES, led by CEO Tracy Dolgin, from systems in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania in mid-November amid a carriage dispute. It had offered it in slightly less than 1 million homes.
The YES media blitz includes full-page ads in The New York Times and other newspapers, radio and TV spots and social media messages in an attempt to get Comcast customers to call the cable giant or switch to competing pay TV providers such as Verizon FiOS or DirecTV.
Its website keepyesnetwork.com compiles much of that information. "Comcast xfinity customers will miss the entire Yankees season on Yes," its home page says. "Drop Comcast Today!" it also says above a video that is part of the campaign.
The YES Network Twitter account late Tuesday evening tweeted a link to the site, saying: "Comcast/Xfinity dropped YES. Don't miss the entire Yankees season on YES. #KeepYESNetwork."
Comcast wasn't immediately available for comment, but the cable giant has said YES has been asking for too high a carriage fee for its small but loyal audience.
What is now Fox (back then, it was News Corp. before its split) first bought a 49 percent stake in YES, which also carries the Brooklyn Nets, for $584 million in 2012 and two years later boosted its stake to 80 percent.