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Amazon won't stream Yankees games during shortened 2020 season

Amazon’s deal with YES Network to broadcast New York Yankee games has fallen through due to the shortened Major League Baseball (MLB) campaign.

The news comes as a blow to the internet giant whose ambitions of broadcasting a range of mainstream sports have suffered a setback from one of the US’s biggest sports.

Amazon had agreed a deal with YES Network only in March of this year where they would be able to broadcast 21 of the New York Yankee games via their popular Prime Video service. The move came about after the Yankees, Amazon and Sinclair Broadcast Group reached an agreement to buy Yes Network from Disney with the deal being valued at US$3.47 billion.

The deal would have been a big opportunity for Amazon to advertise their broadcasting capabilities by streaming a number of high-profile matches of which three are against Yankees rivals, the Boston Red Sox.

However, with the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic situation, which continues to impact the world of sport, the MLB campaign had to be shortened from the usual 162 games to just 60. Consequently, this has meant that Amazon’s deal with Yes Network has fallen through as they have chosen to keep those matches for themselves.

Furthermore, under the new MLB rules that prevent teams from streaming games that are airing on regional sport networks (RSN), Yes Network matches will not be available to Amazon.

In a statement, Amazon said: “Given the unique circumstances surrounding this season, YES Network will televise all New York Yankees games not airing on the national networks. We’ll evaluate our plans at the conclusion of this season”

The platform has been keen to build on its already growing sports broadcasting assortment since moving for the National Football League’s (NFL) Thursday night games back in 2017. Amazon have seen more of their success in Europe, having acquired streaming deals with the Premier League and Tennis in a variety of countries.

Last month, Protocol reported that Amazon were looking to create a 24/7 live programme of sports content, according to job listings from the organisation.

Author: Jake Wilkin