We usually encounter this issue in April but like everything else in 2020, this was delayed for months with the NBA and MLB seasons suspended.
As you likely know if you’re reading this, YES Network in the New York City area is the broadcast home for the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and New York City Football Club. And as you likely know if you’re a fan of both the Yankees and Nets, there are at least a couple of scheduling conflicts for the network in early August.
The Yankees and Nets both have games on Aug. 5 and 7 at the same time. On the 5th, the Yankees have a 7:05 game in Baltimore against the Orioles and the Nets have a seeding game in Orlando against the Boston Celtics at 9. That game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN but YES has the coverage rights in the local area. On the 7th, the Yankees have a 6:40 road game against the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Nets have a 5:00 seeding game in Orlando against the Sacramento Kings.
Since the Yankees are literally in the network name, they will have priority as they always have over the Nets, even though Brooklyn’s games are more meaningful down the stretch despite the many players who will not be joining the team inside the NBA’s bubble. As YES has done in the past, it is in contact with its affiliates in an effort to make overflow channels available on those dates so fans can watch Nets games on those dates on YES2, according to a network spokesperson.
While the Nets will be shorthanded in Orlando, they still have a good chance at making the playoffs. They currently occupy the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, a half game ahead of the Orlando Magic and six games clear of the 9th place Washington Wizards, who will also not be at full strength.
If the Nets finish behind the Magic and are four games or fewer ahead of the Wizards, there would be a play-in tournament. It’s possible, but not likely, that YES also broadcasts those games and creates more potential conflicts with Yankee games. The same would seemingly apply if the Nets make the playoffs and YES broadcasts games locally in the first round. Those games would likely go on YES2 as well, but that’s speculative and will be determined if a conflict ends up occurring. Nets fans are used to having their locally televised playoff games being shown on YES2 or My9, and it seems like that’ll be the case this year as well if Brooklyn reaches the postseason on the YES2 format.
The WNBA will also hold games in a Florida bubble, at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. Once its schedule is released, it’s possible that YES will also have conflicts between the Yankees and the New York Liberty, which boasts 2020 top overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, a superstar in the making. If Major League Soccer has a 2020 season beyond its Orlando MLS Is Back tournament, there could be conflicts between the Yankees and NYCFC during the summer.
Those plans, like most things this year, are to be determined.