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Yankees fans will need Amazon Prime Video if they want to ensure they can see every game this season.
This season, 21 Yankees games can only be viewed on the gigantic e-commerce company’s streaming service. The games, according to sources, will be primarily on Friday nights.
The first game will be Friday, April 22, when the Yankees host Cleveland, The Post has learned.
Amazon and YES declined comment.
To be as clear as possible, these games will not be on YES or any other service. Only Amazon Prime Video. They will be only available in the Yankees’ local footprint, which is primarily in the New York tri-state region. These are the games that used to be on Ch. 11.
This is all part of the sports streaming evolution, which is upon us, as fans are being asked to pay for more services to see their team’s games.
The first local touchpoint this season that is likely to cause a ruckus will be Apple TV+’s new Friday night package, which will have the Mets’ second game of the season on April 8 when Max Scherzer is expected to make his debut against his old team, the Nationals.
MLB Network will be producing the Apple TV+ game, meaning Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling will not be on the call. MLBN is still determining who will be on the mics. (It’s a week away, folks. Let’s go!) The Yankees also have two Apple TV+ games in the first 12 Friday nights.
Besides the Apple TV+ agreement, MLB plans to add some weekly Sunday late morning/early afternoon games on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. That deal is not yet announced, as those games are not expected to begin until May. Hence, there is no schedule yet.
Meanwhile, baseball fans still need cable. Regional sports networks, like YES and SNY, have the vast majority of the games. ESPN has exclusive “Sunday Night Baseball” games. TBS will have a new Tuesday night schedule, but the games will not be exclusive.
The Amazon news may come as a surprise to viewers, but it has been in the offing for years. As far back as June 2019, The Post reported that Amazon could have Yankees games on its video streaming service. This was after Amazon took an ownership stake, along with Sinclair and the Yankees, in YES.
On the Yankees Amazon broadcast, YES announcers like play-by-player Michael Kay and the regular analysts, such as Paul O’Neill, will call the games. So, unlike Apple TV+, the viewing experience will feel familiar.
As for fans outside of the Yankees’ tri-state footprint that have the out-of-market package to watch the Yankees through MLB.TV, the expectation is that those fans would still be able to watch these 21 games.
Amazon’s sports video strategy has focused on obtaining rights to the most impactful programming. Besides the Yankees, it will premiere its exclusive coverage of NFL “Thursday Night Football” in the fall. Internationally, it has made inroads with top soccer games, like the Premier League, and cricket.
Amazon Prime has reported having more than 200 million subscribers. Its ubiquity is in large part because of its “free shipping,” which is included in the $139 yearly fee.
The company recently raised the price from $119 per year in part by citing its new deal with the NFL, which is for more than $1 billion a season. Now, in the tri-state New York region, Yankees games are being added to service. It will be the only place you will be able to see these Yankees games.
Schrager was on top of it
There were a few folks ahead of the “something is fishy” Tom Brady–Bruce Arians story. The fact that Brady retired, unretired and then Arians stepped down is too coincidental – especially with the feeling the two did not get along. One person I saw that was all over it was NFL Network’s Peter Schrager. He has been on top of the behind-the-scenes machinations that there was some friction between the two. On Thursday, with Rachel Bonetta in the host chair, the “Good Morning Football” crew did a fine job, reporting the facts, but raising their eyebrows. Insiders don’t have to break the news – though that is important – but really giving us more insight is where the money should be.
Clicker Book Club
Papa Clicker doesn’t play favorites, so he did have a quibble with New York Post sports columnist Ian O’Connor’s “Coach K, The Rise and Reign of Mike Krzyzewski.” O’Connor’s book is so well done and it is now the authority on Krzyzewski’s legendary career, but Papa Clicker wanted more than a half page on Lehigh’s 2012 NCAA Tournament upset of Duke. The reason? Papa Clicker, my dad, Herb Marchand, is a Lehigh graduate, class of 1966.
Despite that minor transgression, “Coach K” is a must-read, earning another high grade. O’Connor’s “Belichick” book – published before O’Connor joined The Post – nearly tied the all-time highest Papa Clicker score with a 4.6 out of 5. For “Coach K,” O’Connor picks up a 4.55 out of 5, which means a very high recommendation.