Late Wednesday, Cablevision Systems Corp. agreed to carry the New York Yankees' cable
channel, Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, though where the channel will be located on the system and the
terms of the deal still seemed foggy at the time the announcement was made.
Former AOL Time Warner Inc. chairman Gerald Levin and former Time Warner Cable of
New York City chief Richard Aurelio mediated the negotiations between Cablevision
president and CEO James Dolan and YES chief Leo J. Hindery Jr.
Cablevision, with about 3 million subscribers in the New York area
(including the Bronx, where the Yankees play) refused to carry YES last season,
balking at the baseball channel's subscription rates.
YES wanted to be a basic channel; Cablevision agreed to carry it only as a
premium channel for which subscribers would have to pay $2 per month, saying it
didn't want to penalize nonfans by having to raise rates to absorb the cost of
Other cable operators in the New York area offer YES as part of their basic
As the new season neared, the spat drifted into federal court and has been a
red-hot sports topic in recent days.
Apparently, the deal Wednesday is an interim agreement just to get YES on the
air when the season begins at the end of the month.
A definitive agreement will apparently be hammered out over the course of the
In fact, Dolan said Wednesday night that he still hadn't told his father,
Cablevision chairman James Dolan, that an agreement had been hammered