Nets, YES Network agree to TV rights deal



The Brooklyn Nets and YES Network have announced an agreement to extend media rights between the team and the TV network, each announced today.

“YES’ extensive, Emmy Award-winning multi-media coverage of the Nets has played a key role as the franchise has built its Brooklyn brand, and we are pleased to extend our relationship with this long-term deal,” President & CEO of YES Network Tracy Dolgin said in a prepared statement.

“We are happy that our agreement with the YES Network extends our relationship with the nation’s number one regional sports network,” Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, also said in a prepared statement. “The increased commitment from YES positions us as a premium NBA team.”

The deal was originally reported back in September, by Sports Business Journal. The Brooklyn Game can confirm these details:

The Nets used a contractual “reset” that occurs every five years to get YES Network’s majority owner Fox Sports to increase its rights fee to an annual average of around $40 million, starting with 2017-18 season, according to sources.

In the new agreement, YES Network would continue to keep all linear TV and digital rights to the team’s games.

The current pact was scheduled to run through the 2031-32 season. The new deal is shorter but still runs well into the next decade.

The two agreed to a deal despite the fact that ratings for Nets games rank as the lowest in the NBA, and fell 37 percent from 2013-14 to 2014-15. YES Network relies on the Nets to give them winter programming to complement their Yankees schedule. Despite the low ratings, YES’s broadcast team — including Ian Eagle, Mike Fratello, Ryan Ruocco, and Jim Spanarkel, who is entering his 25th year — routinely ranks as one of the best in the league: Zach Lowe of Grantland recently called Ian Eagle “a god, dropping deadpan gold and fake-feuding with Mike Fratello,” adding that “The czar brings hoops expertise, dry humor, and delightfully bad stick-figure telestrations of upcoming opponents Eagle deciphers in a warped NBA version of Pictionary — one of the best running gags in broadcast sports.”

Disclosure: The Brooklyn Game is the exclusive partner covering the Brooklyn Nets to YES Network.