Yankees fans irked by volume of streaming services needed to watch team

Fans react after New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, April 2, 2023, in New York.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Streaming services for live sports are becoming more and more prevalent these days, and there may be no better group that understands the frustration and financial implications that can have better than Yankees fans. Especially this week. 

In a now-viral tweet from River Ave. Blues, the account aptly pointed out that for Yankee fans to watch every game from Sunday to Friday of this week they’d have to have five different subscription services. Sunday’s series finally aired on Peacock, two games will be broadcast on YES Network, Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles is being broadcast on Amazon Prime and Friday is an Apple TV+ game. 

Adding that up, it could be a pricy week for fans if they choose to sign up for the three streaming services in addition to paying for YES as part of a cable package or the direct-to-consumer streaming service that YES launched at the start of the MLB season. It has already drawn criticism from fans in the past and this week had been no different, with WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason jumping as well during his program on Monday.

“It’s not that I feel bad for the Yankees fans, but I do feel kind of like their frustration,” Esiason said. “You’ve got to find them on Peacock. You’ve got to find them on Apple TV+. You’ve got to find them on Prime. And then you’ve got to find them on YES. When are they, where are they, and how do we find them? It’s ridiculous. This is as bad as the NFL. You talk about a money grab.”

The Peacock and Apple TV+ slate of games are part of MLB’s national broadcast contracts with the respective companies, but the Prime games are a deal that the Yankees cut with Amazon. Prime is thought to be in more households than the other two streamers. 

Still, it highlights the ongoing shift in sports broadcasting to streaming services and the added costs that it is placing on fans who wish to see their favorite teams. Regional sports networks (RSNs) have been dealing with increasing financial hardships due to cord-cutting from traditional cable packages. 

Sports streaming had already been in the headlines this week when it was announced that Peacock will exclusively carry Two NFL games this season, including a Wild Card playoff game. The news drew a frustrated reaction from some fans over the lack of accessibility for the game. 

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