No terms have been disclosed for the multi-year agreement that will see both frequencies carry all Yankees regular season and postseason games, Yankees pregame and postgame shows, and select spring training games. CBS will also acquire the Spanish language radio rights that will air on a station to be determined (though not necessarily a CBS owned station).
The New York Daily News reports that the contract is for ten years and worth $15-$20 Million per season. The contract will also see WFAN air broadcasts of the Major League Soccer expansion team co-owned by the Yankees that will debut in 2015.
INSTANT INSIGHT: Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner summed up the reason for the move best in the press statement, “Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.” The move gives the team access to the FM signal CBS acquired last year as well as the 50kW clear channel AM signal blanketing the east coast at night. For the Mets to keep up, they’ll have to ink deals with two companies to share their rights. ESPN’s 98.7 WEPN is a likely candidate to fill the FM hole, but would Clear Channel’s 710 WOR, Cumulus’ 770 WABC, or Bloomberg’s 1130 WBBR be willing to pay to share the rights?
Original Report 9/10: Newsday reports that the New York Yankees are closing in on a deal to make CBS Sports 660/101.9 WFAN their flagship station starting in 2014.
Telling the paper that “Right now we’re in negotiations and everything is confidential. Part of the agreement we’re drafting has a confidentiality agreement. I can’t even get into it. I am close with some entity for next year,” Yankees COO Lonn Trost admitted they were closing in on a deal with an unnamed entity.
The Yankees have been on WFAN’s sister News 880 WCBS since the start of the 2002 season and were paid between $13 and $14 Million on a one year extension for this season. WFAN has been the flagship of the New York Mets since its launch in 1987 (with a deal from its predecessor 1050 WHN stretching the relationship back to 1983), which the report states has been a money loser for CBS in recent years. Both ESPN’s 98.7 WEPN-FM and Clear Channel’s 710 WOR are mentioned as potential replacements for the Mets, who moved their Spanish language broadcasts to ESPN’s “ESPN Deportes 1050” WEPN this year.
Mets owner Jeff Wilpon confirms that the Mets will be departing WFAN and will have news on a new flagship in about six weeks.
Jeff Wilpon said there should be a resolution on a new radio home in about six weeks. #mets
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) September 10, 2013