SportsNet New York (SNY) is an American regional sports network that is owned by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, LLC, itself a joint venture between the New York Mets (which owns a controlling 65% interest), Time Warner Cable (which owns 27%) and Comcast (which owns 8%). The channel primarily broadcasts games and related programming involving the Mets, but also carries supplementary coverage of the Mets and the New York Jets as well as college sports events.
SNY maintains business operations and street-level studio facilities located in the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center, on the corner of Avenue of the Americas and West 51st Street in Manhattan (in the former home of the now-defunct CNN news program American Morning). SportsNet New York is available on cable and fiber optic television providers throughout the New York metropolitan area and New York state; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.
SportsNet New York was launched on March 16, 2006. The network was created in order for the New York Mets to better leverage the team's television broadcasting rights, which were previously held by Cablevision for its regional sports networks MSG and FSN New York. From 1998 to 2002, Cablevision had a monopoly on the cable television rights to all local professional sports franchises in the New York City market, which resulted in the company using those rights for various business practices (some controversial among viewers and local media analysts) such as moving certain games to its MSG Metro Channels, a group of locally based services that had limited distribution on most cable providers in the New York City metropolitan area. In 2002, YankeeNets - then the corporate entity which owned both the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets - ended the monopoly by launching the YES Network to serve as the local cable broadcaster of their games, leaving the Mets in the Cablevision fold until that team's contract with the company (the dominant cable provider outside of Manhattan and the adjacent boroughs) expired in 2005.
By 2011, through its majority ownership, the Mets received $68 million in revenue from SportsNet New York for the broadcast rights to its games. In 2013, Bloomberg estimated that $1.2 billion of the Mets' $2.1 billion value came from SNY.
New York Mets:
SportsNet New York, through its majority ownership by the team, serves as the primary local broadcaster of the New York Mets. It carries at least 120 games involving the team each season not televised on a national network (Fox, TBS or ESPN). SNY also produces a somewhat reduced schedule of games for local broadcast on CW affiliate WPIX (channel 11), which are simulcast on other stations within the team's broadcast territory. Gregg Picker serves as producer for the games and Bill Webb (who also serves as the broadcast director for the World Series and the All-Star Game for Fox) directing the Mets broadcasts for both SNY and WPIX. Mets game telecasts and post-game shows on SNY delay other programming, such as the 10:00 p.m. edition of SportsNite, and preempt all or portions of shows starting at midnight in the event a game with a 7:00 p.m. start time runs over its scheduled time period.
New York Jets:
In November 2005, the New York Jets signed a broadcasting agreement with SportsNet New York to carry programs relating to the NFL franchise for three years. SNY carries more than 250 hours of Jets-related content annually, including both regular season and off-season shows with access to players, coaches and management.
Other professional sports:
On October 1, 2014, SNY signed an agreement with the Fall Experimental Football League to carry some of the league's inaugural regular season games in October and November of that year.
On July 23, 2008, SNY reached an agreement with Rutgers University to become "the exclusive home" of the university's athletics program; the deal includes the rights to air encore presentations of the team's football telecasts (involving games televised by ABC or any of the ESPN networks), weekly coaches shows (for both football and basketball, such as Inside Rutgers Football) and press conferences.
Beginning in 2008, SNY carried football and basketball games involving the Big East Conference; the network lost the rights to Fox Sports 1 (through an agreement with Fox Sports) when that network launched in August 2013. The network also carried coaches shows focusing on the Seton Hall University and St. John's University basketball teams, both members of the old Big East. From its launch, SNY also carried football and basketball games from the Big Ten Conference that were not scheduled to be televised on a national network; the network lost these games to the Big Ten Network when it launched in 2010. SNY also televised college basketball games from the Sun Belt Conference through ESPN Plus, later dropping these events in 2008, in order to focus its college sports coverage on the Big East Conference.
In August 2010, the University of Connecticut announced a multi-year deal with SportsNet New York to become "the official television home" of UConn Huskies football and men's basketball. SNY will feature 300 hours of Huskies-related programming annually, including 120 hours of game coverage. In May 2012, SNY signed a four-year agreement with the university to become the exclusive broadcaster of the Huskies women's basketball team (assuming the regional rights from Connecticut Public Television), agreeing to air a minimum of 17 games per year. On October 31, 2013, SportsNet New York signed a broadcasting agreement with the Atlantic 10 Conference to televise the conference's college basketball games; under the initial deal, the network carried 43 Atlantic 10 basketball games during the 2013-14 season.
News and debate programs:
Covino and Rich - Debuted in October 2013, a half-hour program with a light format (airing weeknights at 6:00 p.m., with a rebroadcast at 10:00 p.m.) incorporating pop culture topics, social media discussion and trending topics, and viewer participation with less of a focus on statistics and analysis.,
Daily News Live! - A fast-paced, roundtable discussion program focusing on top sports and entertainment topics of importance to New Yorkers, airing weeknights at 11:00 p.m. (with a rebroadcast at 1:30 a.m.). Produced in partnership with the New York Daily News, the program features a panel of various sports (including professional and collegiate athletes and coaches, and commissioners), entertainment (including actors and actresses, sportscasters and musicians) and political figures debating sports and entertainment topicas. It is hosted by Jonas Schwartz, with longtime New York sports personality Joe Benigno as a regular contributor; writers from the Daily News writers and special guests also contribute.,
Geico SportsNite - A daily half-hour sports highlights show airing at 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. (with a rebroadcast from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., the latter not airing on weekends or on days when a Mets game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. or earlier start). The 10:30 edition is pre-empted on nights when a Mets telecast starts at or after 8:00 p.m.,
Loudmouths - A half-hour sports talk show (airing weeknights at 5:30 p.m.), in which hosts Chris Carlin and Adam Schein debate the top sports topics of the day. The program showcases various interactive features, including Carlin and Schein engaging in viewer debates, and answering questions and opinions via live phone calls, web conferencing, e-mails and text messages.,
The WheelHouse - Running from 2006 to March 29, 2013, it is a half-hour program (which aired weeknights at 5:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast at 2:00 a.m.) hosted by Brian Custer, with panelists Brandon Tierney and Marc Malusis. The show was composed of nine "innings" (segments) featuring fast-paced debates on major sports topics of the day, and incorporated a sleek on-air baseball-themed look and feel.,
Beer Money! - A half-hour game show (airing Sundays at 7:00 p.m.), in which hosts Amber Wilson and Dan Schachner visit bars throughout New York and New Jersey asking contestants questions pertaining to New York sports, in three rounds (with prize amounts of $10, $20, and $100); contestants choose to leave the game with their existing prize total at any time, or continue on, risking losing the money if they give a wrong answer. The program also features a two-contestant shootout round for a $50 prize, in which the first contestant to answer a question wrong loses. A similar program with the same title airs on SportsTime Ohio, while New England Sports Network (NESN) carried a similarly formatted program, Pocket Money.,
Mets Classics - Broadcasts of archived Mets games from past seasons and the current season (UltiMet Classics).,
Mets Fast Forward - A condensed one-hour replay of the previous day's Mets game telecast on SNY or WPIX (airing at 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. following a Mets game).,
Mets Insider - A bi-weekly, half-hour magazine-style program geared towards a diverse range of Mets topics.,
Mets Kids Clubhouse - A weekly half-hour baseball edutainment program for children, hosted by Neha Joy (airing Sundays at 4:30 p.m.).,
Mets Hot Stove - An offseason "hot stove" discussion about the Mets, hosted by Gary Apple with various local writers.,
Mets Pre-Game Live - A half-hour program previewing the upcoming Mets game/series.,
Mets Post-Game Live - A half-hour program providing recaps and analysis of the day's Mets game and previews of upcoming matchups.,
Mets Weekly - A weekly half-hour magazine program featuring team coverage, interviews and stories on the Mets (airing Sundays at 6:00 p.m.).,
Mets Yearbook - A half-hour program of past Mets year in reviews from 1962 to 1988.,
Mets Year in Review - A program recapping the Mets season since 2009, hosted by Kevin Burkhardt.,
Current on-air staff:
Hosts and analysts:
Chris Carlin - GEICO SportsNite anchor; Loudmouths co-host; and Rutgers football and basketball analyst,
Joe Benigno - Daily News Live panelist,
Joe Klecko - Jets post game studio analyst; Jets Nation and NFL analyst,
Ray Lucas - Jets post game studio analyst; Jets Nation and NFL analyst,
Kaitlin Monte - Mets Insider host,
Sweeny Murti - Yankees beat reporter,
Adam Schein - Loudmouths co-host; Jets post-game studio analyst; Jets Nation analyst; and NFL insider/analyst,
Jonas Schwartz - Daily News Live host and studio host,
New York Mets telecasts:
Gary Apple - Mets pre-game and post-game studio host, host of Mets Hot Stove,
Gary Cohen - Mets play-by-play announcer,
Ron Darling - Mets color commentator/game analyst,
Jim Duquette - fill-in Mets pre-game and post-game studio analyst,
Nelson Figueroa - Mets pre-game and post-game studio analyst,
John Franco - fill-in Mets pre-game and post-game studio analyst,
Keith Hernandez - Mets color commentator/game analyst,
Bobby Valentine - fill-in Mets pre-game and post-game studio analyst,
Notable former on-air staff:
Steve Berthiaume - SportsNite anchor (2006-2007; left network in January 2007 and rejoined ESPN, now the lead broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks),
Kevin Burkhardt - Mets field reporter and alternate play-by-play announcer; host of Mets Hot Stove,
Julie Donaldson - host of Mets Weekly (2006-2007; now anchor/reporter at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic),
Scott Ferrall - Daily News Live and Wheelhouse personality (2007-2009; now host of nationally syndicated radio show for CBS Sports Radio),
Ralph Kiner - fill-in Mets color commentator/game analyst (2006-2013),
Lee Mazzilli - studio analyst on Mets pre- and post-game shows (2007-2008),
Bob Ojeda - Mets pre-game and post game studio analyst,
Alexi Panos - co-host of Beer Money (2009-2010),
Harold Reynolds - studio analyst on Mets pre-game and post-game shows (2008; joined the MLB Network in 2009),
Matt Yallof - host of Mets pre-game and post-game shows (2006-2008; joined MLB Network in 2009),
At its launch, it was originally expected that SNY would experience issues with trying to gain carriage on Cablevision, as the Mets moved their game telecasts from that company's two regional sports networks, MSG Network and FSN New York (now MSG Plus). The situation was similar to that experienced by the YES Network, the Yankees ended its broadcasting agreement with Cablevision. Cablevision filed a lawsuit against Sterling Entertainment Enterprises on the grounds that the franchise might have violated their contract, which theoretically had one year left to run, as well as the right of last refusal. However, a judge ruled in favor of Sterling Entertainment, essentially stating that the Mets had voided their deal with Cablevision entirely by paying a specified buyout fee, believed to have exceeded $50 million.
Comcast began carrying the network on its Hartford area systems on March 31, 2008. Then in July 2008, just days after the University of Connecticut signed its broadcast deal with SNY, Cox Communications began carrying SportsNet New York on channel 62 throughout its Connecticut service area. On August 29, 2011, the network launched a secondary feed for Connecticut, SNY-CT.
SNY is also available on Comcast systems in Palm Beach County, Florida and nationally on Verizon FiOS. However, due to broadcasting rules imposed by Major League Baseball that restrict local telecasts to within their designated broadcast territory, Mets games televised by the network are blacked out, although pre-game and post-game shows and other non-event programming is cleared for broadcast in Palm Beach County.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license