It's that time of year again and by that I mean the time of year when cable contracts expire and the game of drops and accusations start to air. To start the holidays, the regional sports network YES, owned by Fox and the Yankees, have been dropped by Comcast Cable as no renewal deal could be reached. For customers in the NY, NJ, and CT region, almost 1 million customers, that means the loss of the Brooklyn Nets on television.
According to reports, the contract has expired for some time but it has reached the tipping point today with the network dropping off the line-up. For how long, who knows. Like every other negotiation, it eventually will come back, whether in a day, a week, a month, or even after the start of the Yankees, it will come back on the air. But in the meantime both sides lose.
Is it possible that the drop could be permanent? Despite a small, but loud percentage of sports fans, sports networks are hard to drop forever. They may have some of the highest, most expensive license fees of any basic network, but the passion for the programming is always there. So watch as we get radio, newspaper, and TV ads telling us how bad the other side is in the negotiation. Programming contracts are all about the money and nothing else.