Amazon says YES to putting the Yankees on cable
This Friday’s Yankees game against the Orioles will no longer be exclusively available on Amazon Prime Video, like 20 games before it: the game will also be airing on the Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) network, according to a tweet from the cable network. It’s a big change, and it’s something that Apple didn’t do last week, despite pleas from New York’s Attorney General.
Many Yankees fans will likely want to tune in to the game, as outfielder Aaron Judge could beat a record for home runs that’s stood for over 60 years (he matched it on Wednesday after this article was originally published). But the ability to watch the Yankees on YES has been a bit contentious lately; last Friday, New York’s attorney general Letitia James called on Apple to make the game available on cable TV. Like Amazon, Apple TV Plus is the exclusive home to another set of baseball games, and James said that having to use the streaming service was burden to people used to watching the Yankees on YES.
To be clear, what’s happening this week isn’t exactly the same situation as it was with Apple. For one thing, Amazon is an investor in YES with a 15 percent stake in the network, so the game playing on both Prime and cable is mostly a win-win, and YES has been heavily involved in producing the broadcasts that aired on Amazon Prime. It also probably doesn’t hurt that Friday’s game is the last in Amazon’s exclusive lineup, so it’s not really setting expectations for the rest of the season.
Another major difference is that Apple TV makes its games available for free to anyone with a web browser or smartphone, whereas Amazon’s streams have been limited to “Prime members in the Yankees’ home-team footprint of New York state, Connecticut, north and central New Jersey, and northeast Pennsylvania.” Prime costs $14.99 per month, or $139 per year, though you can get just a Prime Video subscription for $8.99 a month.
The move to air Friday’s game on both Prime Video and YES is largely a return to how things were before this year; in 2021, games were available via both Amazon’s streaming service and cable. Neither Amazon nor the AG’s office immediately responded to The Verge’s request for comment. The game is scheduled to start at 7PM ET on Friday.