SBD/Issue 72/Sports Media

Yes Indeed: Yankees Radio Broadcasts Moving To WCBS-AM

Infinity Broadcasting and the YES Network have reached a five-year exclusive agreement to broadcast Yankees games in both English and Spanish. The deal begins with Spring Training in '02 and means that Yankees games will be broadcast in English on WCBS-AM in the N.Y. region. Sister station WFAN-AM will provide sales, marketing and production support for the broadcasts. The Spanish language station will be announced at a later date (YES Network). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes that financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but cites two execs as saying that the deal was worth $9.75M annually. WCBS VP & GM Steve Swenson said the all-news station acquired the rights to Yankees games because "we're looking for ways to increase revenues and listenership. We certainly hope that this will expose a lot of people to all-news radio." Sandomir also notes that the deal ends the team's 21-year relationship with WABC. The MSG Network was also bidding for the rights (N.Y. TIMES, 12/28). The N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Michael Obernauer cites sources as saying that Infinity "will pay in the range" of $8M per year (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/28). On Long Island, Steve Zipay notes that WABC paid about $7M for the rights last season (NEWSDAY, 12/28).

ROYAL TREATMENT? In K.C., Jeffrey Flanagan writes that by comparison, the Royals' radio deal with Entercom is worth a little more than" $5M over three years (K.C. STAR, 12/28).

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