New York City Football Club, New York City’s new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, today announced a multi-year agreement with the YES Network, making YES the Club’s exclusive local television home. The agreement complements an existing partnership with WFAN, which will serve as the Club’s flagship station and radio rights holder. New York City FC is set to begin its inaugural season in March 2015 at Yankee Stadium.
Details of the agreements were presented during a late morning press conference at NYY Steak in midtown Manhattan, attended by Craig Carton, co-host of WFAN’s morning show; Tracy Dolgin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YES Network; Bob Lorenz, YES Network anchor; and Tim Pernetti, Chief Business Officer of New York City FC.
Under the partnership, the YES Network, the pre-eminent regional sports network in the country, has acquired the rights to televise all New York City FC home and away regular season matches. YES’ match telecasts will be presented by Etihad Airways and sponsored by New York Presbyterian Hospital and Tri-State Ford Dealers. The network will televise New York City FC matches within its traditional service area: throughout New York State and Connecticut; north and central New Jersey; and northeastern Pennsylvania.
In addition, all New York City FC matches televised by YES will be streamed live free via the FOX Sports GO app to authenticated YES viewers whose operators have streaming deals with YES (currently Cablevision and Time Warner Cable). New York City FC and the YES Network are exploring additional New York City FC programming to complement the LIVE game coverage including behind the scenes coverage of the making of the franchise, the team coming together for its inaugural training season in January, and the first season on the pitch.
“It is only fitting that YES has become New York City FC’s television partner, given the New York Yankees’ investment in the club and New York City FC’s playing in the number one market in the country, at Yankee Stadium in particular,” said Dolgin. “The Yankees-Man City ownership structure, along with the presence of Jason Kreis and Claudio Reyna, give New York City FC instant credibility, and we expect it to become one of MLS’ flagship franchises in no time.”
YES currently televises matches and shoulder programming involving New York City FC’s sister Club, Barclays Premier League Champions, Manchester City FC. YES, which has won 80 Emmy Awards since its 2002 launch, stands as the most-watched regional sports network in the country for 10 of the past 11 years.
The YES Network agreement, coupled with the already announced agreement with CBS RADIO’s WFAN, provides New York City FC the broadest platform of visibility possible in the New York City market. WFAN has the rights to air all of New York City Football Club’s MLS matches, in addition to the option to air any friendly matches played during the multi-year partnership timeframe. New York City FC games will be broadcast in English on WFAN and in Spanish on WADO. All games will be streamed on WFAN.com.
To highlight the partnership agreement, New York City FC and YES announced a competition that will give one fan an opportunity to be part of the YES Network broadcast team as a sideline reporter during a 2015 New York City FC match. Participants will be able to enter the competition by creating a video explaining why they should join the YES Network’s talent roster and sharing on NYCFC social media platforms; the winner will be selected from a limited number of finalists and by popular vote from New York City FC fans. The content will be formally launched in January, and entries can be submitted on a forthcoming registration site and by using the hashtag #NYCFConYES.
“The excitement has been building for Major League Soccer’s debut in New York City and more importantly for the new hometown team,” said Scott Herman, Executive Vice President, Operations, CBS RADIO and New York Market Manager. “Sports fans across New York, including all of us at WFAN, are looking forward to experiencing the energy and competitiveness of New York City Football Club.”
“We are delighted to partner with the YES Network and WFAN, two dominant sports media platforms in New York City,” said Pernetti. “They are the most trusted and engaging outlets in New York City sports today. We look forward to working with them to broadcast our matches, shoulder programming and most of all, to earning the support of their loyal viewers and listeners throughout the region.”
New York City FC added 10 players to their roster in the past week; eight were retained following the Expansion Draft and were joined by goalkeepers Ryan Meara and Akira Fitzgerald. Of those 10, four are native New Yorkers and two played under Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake.