The YES Network studio during coverage of a Yankees game.

The YES Network studio during coverage of a Yankees game. Credit: E.H. Wallop

The YES Network on Wednesday launched a streaming “direct-to-consumer” option, allowing fans to watch without a traditional pay TV subscription.

MSG Networks announced its DTC product earlier this month, but it will not launch until summer, making YES the first New York-area channel to go to market.

The news, one day before the Yankees’ season opener, did not come as a surprise. But the pricing structure was a source of keen interest in the business.

YES said it would charge $24.99 per month or $239.99 per year, less than the $30 MSG is to charge monthly. (MSG will offer an option to buy a single game for $10.)

Another closely watched industry leader, NESN, which carries Red Sox and Bruins games, charges $30 per month.

YES is offering an introductory price of $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year for those who sign up through April 30.

SNY figures to offer a plan of its own eventually, perhaps next season, as will every other regional sports network and national outlet (including ESPN) as the media business transitions from traditional pay TV bundles to streaming options.

“With this new direct-to-consumer offering, we are broadening our reach by making YES available to more fans in our regional footprint than ever before,” YES CEO Jon Litner said in a news release.

The service will be available through the YES app. People who get YES through a pay TV provider will continue to have streaming access at no additional charge.

Networks such as YES and MSG are walking a fine line during this transition period as they seek to reach cable “cord-cutters” while not undermining distributors such as Altice, DirecTV and others that rely on sports channels to attract and keep customers.

Prices so far have been set high enough to avoid a mass exodus from pay TV while also experimenting with what the streaming market will bear.

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