"His (Rivera's) goodbye game attracted 258,000 viewers, a little
above the season’s average. But from 9:45 to 10:15 p.m.
— from Rivera’s
entrance into the game to his removal after a mound visit by Derek Jeter
and Andy Pettitte and the cathartic aftermath — viewership soared to a
peak for the game of 585,000."
10/1/13, "YES Viewers Say Their Goodbyes,
" NY Times, Richard Sandomir
85-77 record prevented them from making the American League playoffs. A
disappointment, yes, but grounds to shun them? No.
That brief moment aside, this is unhappy, unknown territory for YES,
which started in 2002, a little late for the dynasty years but in time
for plenty of highly rated Red Sox games and one World Series
championship. YES has never televised a losing season by the Yankees,
but the surprisingly large abandonment by viewers made this year feel
As a corporate progeny of the team, YES needs spectacular, star-driven
winning as its business rationale. Fans have come to expect the same.
This season might have stripped YES’s Yankees viewership to its core viewers, without casual and fair-weather fans....
In 2008, when the Yankees last failed to make the playoffs, they had an
89-73 record. They finished third in the A.L. East, but their star
lineup was largely intact, featuring Alex Rodriguez with 35 home runs
and Jason Giambi with 32. The season was disappointing enough to produce
a nearly 11 percent drop in average viewership on YES, to 405,000. But
when the Yankees rebounded in ’09 to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in
the World Series, nearly all the lost viewership was recovered.
Part of that drop might be attributable to fans being bored with winning
and the empire slowly fraying. Some fans might have switched to
watching on laptops and mobile devices; that use is not measured by
Nielsen. There could be a quirk in the way Nielsen measures television
viewing. Or fans might be watching less of each game, which reduces
Mike Axisa, the editor in chief of the Yankees blog River Avenue Blues
said: “My generation of fans, when I was 11 or 12, when the Yankees
started getting really good, were easy to hook on to and a lot of fans
jumped on the bandwagon. Now, the interest just isn’t there.”
Things could be worse. The Mets’ viewership on SNY also took a big dip.
But there was good reason: they finished with their fifth consecutive
losing record. And their viewership fell 29 percent from last season, to
139,000. Since 2007, a winning season for the Mets that finished in a
collapse, viewership has fallen by 55.7 percent.
Then there are the Houston Astros, who this season lost an Amazin’ 111 games.
On Sept. 22, a Sunday afternoon Astros-Indians game on Comcast SportsNet
Houston attracted no viewers, at least according to the way Nielsen
measures such things. It is entirely possible that a few dozen Astros
players’ wives and children were watching. But then things managed to
get worse: CSN Houston, a partnership of Comcast, the Astros and the
N.B.A. Rockets, is in crisis.
Last week, Comcast filed an involuntary Chapter 11 petition, saying that
which has not received wide distribution in the Houston
market, was insolvent. Jim Crane, the Astros’ owner, has vowed to fight
Comcast, but he conceded Monday to The Houston Chronicle
that the team returned half its rights fees in May and June
to keep the
network afloat and had received no payments since.
YES has no solvency problems, and even the loss of almost one-third of
Yankees viewers will not affect its finances much. Its monthly
subscriber fees are locked in and will rise annually despite the
vagaries of viewership.
Still, many viewers have suddenly joined a pinstriped diaspora. And YES
might not lure them back until the Yankees retool with more compelling
and charismatic stars."...
"Under the terms of the deal
, which were announced last week, News Corp.
will pay about $1.5 billion for a 49% stake in YES
, which broadcasts
live Yankees baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball games. (That amounts
to little more than chump change for News Corp., which has a market value
of $58 billion, and is currently sitting on $12 billion in cash.) After
three years, News Corp. has the right to increase its stake to 80%
according to a statement
released by the company and Yankee Global Enterprises, which owns the
Yankees and also a stake in YES, along with Goldman Sachs and other
investors. The deal, which will keep Yankees baseball on YES through
allows Goldman Sachs, which was an early investor in YES and owns
30% of the network, to cash out some of its stake."
Labels: Jeter, Pettitte moment on Rivera's last night at Yankee Stadium, YES Network viewership spiked for Rivera