SBJ/20080623/This Week's News

YES, New York Times sign online content deal

The YES Network has struck an online content syndication deal with The New York Times, extending a run of digital media deals for the New York regional sports network.

Under the terms of the pact, the newspaper’s will use segments from YES’s original, wholly owned video content within its own coverage of the New York Yankees, including interview segments from YES’s pregame and postgame shows; its long-form interview program, “CenterStage”; and the weekly “Joe Girardi Show.”

The most common application, at least at the outset of the deal, will be the use of player interviews taken from postgame coverage to complement game stories and Yankees columns on The video content will mirror what already appears on, but with what is typically the largest online audience for any American newspaper, often measuring around 18 million to 20 million unique users per month, offers YES significant additional reach. Traffic for in particular has surged since it switched last fall from a gated, pay model to a free, ad-supported offering.

Specific financial terms were not disclosed, but the agreement is a revenue-sharing pact built around ad revenue related to the online content. The newspaper is handling sales for the venture.

“We’re looking at anything we can do to enhance our coverage, new ways to help tell the story even more, and this was a situation where our brands and our audiences matched up very well,” said Tom Jolly, sports editor for The New York Times and “There’s obviously great interest in the Yankees. They’re an international brand, and this is a boost for us and for YES.”

YES already has in place similar content syndication deals with the likes of Yahoo!, YouTube, Amazon and Joost. One of the Times’ local rivals, the New York Post, also receives some YES video content through a third-party deal with Kit Digital, parent of online video syndicate

“This is very similar to those other deals,” said Michael Spirito, YES director of business development. “We’re trying to get as big an audience as possible, and the Times obviously offers us a real breadth of viewership.”

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