• YES To Simulcast Kay Instead Of Francesa

    Posted by on December 14th, 2013 · Comments (9)

    Via Bob Raissman

    It soon will be splitsville for the Sports Pope and the Yankees Sports & Entertainment Network.

    The 10-year+ simulcast relationship between WFAN’s Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa and the YES Network will be over by the end of January, the Daily News has learned. YES will replace Francesa’s afternoon drive show with ESPN-98.7’s “The Michael Kay Show.”

    A TV executive familiar with the situation confirmed the switch. He said the move is strictly a “matter of economics,” with the rights fee WFAN is asking for Francesa’s simulcast becoming too pricey for YES and far exceeding what YES will pay to air the simulcast of Kay’s ESPN soiree. According to the executive nothing has been finalized: “But it’s going to happen.”

    WFAN’s simulcast contract with YES for Francesa’s show expires January 31.

    Behind the scenes there has been speculation Francesa giving Alex Rodriguez an exclusive platform on his show may have rankled YES and Yankee brass, thus speeding up The Pope’s departure.

    “Not true,” the TV exec said. “The framework of the new (simulcast) deal (with ESPN) was already in the works before that ever happened.”

    Good timing for Francesa. He’ll get a stage at CBS like Boomer and Carton. Or, he’ll go to MSG. Either way, he’ll get his money. And, by disconnecting from YES, he can empty his barrels on the Yankees, who will probably suck this year and for a while after, without fear of Levine and Trost giving him a hard time.

    Comments on YES To Simulcast Kay Instead Of Francesa

    1. redbug
      December 14th, 2013 | 6:08 pm

      It’ll be interesting to see how Kay’s ratings compare. I have more than enough of Kay watching the games.

    2. December 14th, 2013 | 8:32 pm

      redbug wrote:

      It’ll be interesting to see how Kay’s ratings compare. I have more than enough of Kay watching the games.

      I suppose this make Kay even more secure with his Yankees connections…which means he will be around until he drops dead, commits DUI, or is caught screwing a mentally unstable woman from the UK.

      Oh, wait, that last one really doesn’t come with a punishment.

    3. #15
      December 15th, 2013 | 12:08 pm
    4. Corey
      December 15th, 2013 | 12:44 pm

      @ redbug:
      Kay’s radio show is actually good. I know.

    5. MJ Recanati
      December 16th, 2013 | 9:51 am

      Corey wrote:

      Kay’s radio show is actually good. I know.

      Agreed. He’s much better as a radio host than he is a TV play-by-play guy.

    6. redbug
      December 16th, 2013 | 10:29 am

      @ MJ Recanati:Agreed. He’s much better as a radio host than he is a TV play-by-play guy.

      That’s a very low bar.

    7. December 16th, 2013 | 11:30 am

      First, I tend to think this is in fact a matter of economics, YES is getting programming at a cheaper price. Remember, YES is now basically FOX, the company owns 49% of the network with an opportunity to go to 80% in two years. These are strictly bottom line guys, they want to earn more money. The network ratings were down last year which means revenues were probably off as well. FOX at some point will start linking these regional sports networks together streaming their own programming. In the short term the network may start running more infomercials with two additional hours freed up (good news, there is a new version of the magic bullet, a desert bullet).

      The AROD matter may actually be Mike’s way of acting out realizing he was going to be off YES in short order. Mike has been more critical of the business end of the NFL since they no longer allow him to use NFL in the title of his Sunday show.

      YES may have to change the name of the network to KAY (maybe they can get a Kay Jewelers tie-in). During the baseball season Kay will be on from 3-6pm, then do approximarely three and half hours of Yankee baseball, after the game a best of Kay, and then a possible Centerstage rerun and then a Yankee Encore (which runs again the following morning). People are going to get pretty sick of him.

      Kay’s radio show wouldn’t be so bad if the Ed McMahon of sports radio (Don LaGreca) wasn’t part of the package. Also ESPN programs this station differently than the FAN. The FAN is baseball centric while ESPN is not. Topics change frequently and baseball is just part of the mix. That will be a big change for the YES audience.

      I will admit I am not a big Kay fan, I do not like this change.

    8. December 16th, 2013 | 5:40 pm

      FWIW, Mike, on the air today, said that the A-Rod was probably one factor in this.

    9. Mr. October
      December 16th, 2013 | 11:14 pm

      “… ‘It’s not one reason. It’s never one reason … Economics is always an issue. It’s not the only issue,’ Francesa said. ‘Editorial control is always an issue. It’s almost ended the show a couple of time here. … It doesn’t really matter why. I knew in the summer it wasn’t going to continue. … Was A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez] an issue? I’m sure he was, at some level. I guarantee it was.’”

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