Via Richard Sandomir -
Fear not, Yankees fans: the YES Network’s Yankees propaganda will continue even if News Corporation increases its ownership stake in the channel from 49 percent, which it agreed to purchase Tuesday, to as much as 80 percent in three years.
The deal cedes to the Yankees continued control of pinstripe content even if the team owns as little as 20 percent.
And why would Fox Sports, the division of News Corporation that owns 19 regional sports networks, want to alter YES’s Yankees propaganda formula? It has served YES so well that it will be valued at $3.8 billion if News Corporation buys majority control. Carrying the Nets did not make YES valuable. It’s about Yankees games; the pre- and postgame shows; the “Yankeeography” series and replays of games; and the “Yankee Classics,” in which the Yankees never lose. (They have lost classic games, but YES does not show them.)
Earlier this year, when YES was celebrating its 10th anniversary, I talked to Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, and Tracy Dolgin, who runs YES, about the unashamedly pro-Yankees slant of the network’s announcers and the absence of a news operation like the one on SNY. “We tell our people if you want to be bipartisan and fair, don’t work for YES,” Levine said.
As for carrying a nightly news show, like SNY’s “SportsNite,” Dolgin said: “News is a loser. If you want news, watch ESPN.”
Fox will, of course, bring some of its programming to YES. That was one reason to make the deal. It needs a New York outpost, especially as it starts a national sports network that is, for now, called Fox Sports 1. But tinker with the propaganda? Never.
The Yankees, clearly, with this approach, feel that their faithful are a bunch of fanboys who crave nothing but pro-Yankees pablum. And, I find that to be very insulting.