Momentum for the "TV Everywhere" movement continues among U.S. regional sports networks, this time with in-market streaming deals that will provide game access for fans of New York teams.
MSG Networks Inc. has reached a deal with the National Hockey League to provide live, in-market streaming of New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres action to authenticated customers of its regional sports networks at no extra charge.
Meanwhile, SportsNet New York (US) struck a deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media for in-market streaming rights of New York Mets games and related fare, starting with the 2017 season.
The agreements come on the heels of NBCUniversal Media LLC's NBC Sports Regional Networks connecting last month on a deal for four of Comcast SportsNet-branded RSNs to provide TVE, in-market streaming coverage for five MLB squads during the upcoming campaign, and scoring a pact for in-market streaming of four NHL teams last November.
In reaching an accord with SNY and in January with the Comcast SportsNet RSNs, MLBAM now has in-market, TVE streaming pacts covering 22 of baseball's 30 clubs. Fifteen RSNs owned by 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX Sports began proffering in-market streaming during the 2016 MLB season, while the Toronto Blue Jays, which claim all of Canada as their home market, completed their fourth streaming season last year.
With the MSG Networks deal, the NHL now has TVE agreements with 20 of its 23 clubs in the U.S. as FOX Sports-owned RSNs began in-market streaming of a dozen clubs when the 2016-17 season began in October 2016, and the four Comcast SportsNet RSNs with NHL rights started streaming the contests a month later.
TVE affords fans the ability to watch the games when they are at work, commuting, or out and about, while building audience and brand loyalty for the attendant RSN holding the rights. Having the capability of delivering live streams to phones and tablets is also a plus for an RSN, relative to connecting with younger adults, many of whom prefer to consume media on mobile devices.
In the New York DMA, MSG GO — MSG Networks' live streaming and on demand product, which also offers New York Knicks NBA games — has TVE deals with Comcast Corp. and Altice U.S. An MSG spokesman said the company is in conversations with other area providers about TVE pacts.
The MSG spokesman said the company will drop the puck on in-market streaming of the hockey games, as well as pre- and post-game programming, in several weeks. The content will be accessible via MSG GO on supported smartphones and tablets.
SNY did not disclose what companies it has TVE pacts with at this point, but a spokesman noted it is having conversations with all local distributors.
The in-market streaming of Mets games and related fare will be available to the RSN’s authenticated subscribers at SNY.tv and the NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Group's live-streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs. The app is powered by NBC Sports' Playmaker Media, which also provides end-to-end support for live streaming and video-on-demand solutions for the RSNs' NBA and NHL coverage, as well as for such national properties as the NFL and the Olympics. Comcast owns a minority position in SNY.
SNY will look to open up another revenue stream by deploying dynamic ad insertion within the streamed Mets contests.