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), Charter Communications through its acquisition of Time Warner Cable in May 2016 (which owns 27%) and Comcast, through its NBC Sports Group subsidiary (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 maintained 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) until March 2017, when they relocated to 4 World Trade Center. 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|
|Launched||March 16, 2006|
|Network||NBC Sports Regional Networks|
Sterling Entertainment Enterprises|
(New York Mets 65%/
Charter Communications 27%/
NBC Sports Group 8%)
|Slogan||TV Home of All Things New York Sports|
New York metropolitan area|
Nationwide (via satellite)
|Headquarters||4 World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan, New York City|
NY1 (through Spectrum)
WNBC/New York City
WNJU/Linden, New Jersey
|Blue Ridge Digital Cable (PA)||43 (SD)|
|Charter Communications (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island)||26 (SD)|
|Comcast (New York metropolitan area)||
73 (SD; most systems)
|RCN (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens)||370|
|Verizon FiOS (NY, NJ, CT)||
|Verizon FiOS (all other areas)||96 (SD)|
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.