Kicking off a partnership with the YES Network, Amazon Prime Video has announced a schedule of 21 New York Yankees games to stream during the 2021 season.
The simulcasts of games produced by YES and airing on broadcast affiliates, start April 18 and will be included at no extra charge for Prime members. They’ll be available only in the Yankees’ home-team footprint, which includes New York state, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania, and north and central New Jersey.
In 2019, Amazon joined Sinclair Broadcast Group and private equity firms in a $3.5 billion deal to acquire the YES Network, a transaction led by the Yankees. YES was the longtime standout in a portfolio of two dozen regional sports networks operated by Fox, which were divested as part of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger.
Regional sports networks still routinely command high traditional ratings, especially for Major League Baseball games. But their business model, which generated hefty margins in the 1990s and 2000s, has become more challenged in recent years. Many RSNs have clashed with pay-TV operators, who are navigating through years of cord-cutting and they have balked at the fee increases demanded by programmers, particularly in sports.
Sinclair, which led the purchase of Fox’s other sports networks, has had costly carriage impasses with Dish Network and several internet TV services over the past year. YES has had plenty of its own battles over the years, but its lofty valuation and ability to attract Amazon’s interest attest to the unique potency of the Yankees in the New York area. YES also carries the Brooklyn Nets, which are currently the betting favorite to win the NBA championship.
Amazon has been significantly ramping up its overall sports efforts. Last week, it secured rights to Thursday Night Football in an 11-year deal that is the first streaming exclusive with the NFL.
Similar to NFL streams, Yankees games on Prime Video this season will feature Amazon’s X-Ray technology. It lets viewers access live stats and team and player details via Android, iOS mobile and Fire TV. Amazon also plans a new 15-minute pre-game show featuring YES on-air personalities ahead of the first pitch of every Prime Video broadcast.
Here is the full schedule of games streaming on Prime Video (all times are ET):
April 18, vs. Tampa Bay – 1PM
April 23 at Cleveland – 7PM
April 27 at Baltimore – 6:30PM
May 14 at Baltimore – 7PM
May 21 vs. Chicago White Sox – 7PM
May 29 at Detroit – 4PM
May 30 at Detroit – 1PM
June 12 at Philadelphia – 4PM
June 20 vs. Oakland – 1PM
July 2 vs. New York Mets – 7PM
July 11 at Houston – 2PM
July 23 at Boston – 7PM
July 27 at Tampa Bay – 7PM
July 30 at Miami – 7PM
Aug. 15 at Chicago White Sox – 2PM
Aug. 17 vs. Boston – 7PM
Aug. 22 vs. Minnesota – TBD
Aug. 28 at Oakland – 4PM
Sept. 17 vs. Cleveland – 7PM
Sept. 24 at Boston – 7PM
Sept. 29 at Toronto – 7PM
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