This is relevant for several reasons. First, I was born in The Bronx and grew up in New York so am therefore a Yankee fan. Sure, this is relevant only to me -- get over it. What's more relevant to all of us though is the content and telecom Who's Who list of potential bidders:
- One source says to expect a deal by summer's end. Some possible bidders: Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
Since this is an issue near and dear to my heart both professionally and recreationally, it got me thinking about life as a Yankee fan under the direction of these four giants...
- Cablevision: I nearly regurged in my mouth imagining this scenario. According to folklore, King Midas had the power to turn whatever he touched into gold. In the New York area, Cablevision has a similar power with everything sports related that it touches -- except instead of turning things into gold, it turns them into soiled undies. Cablevision owns the New York Knicks and Rangers, the MSG Network that broadcasts their games, and the cable network that delivers those games to half the city. The Knicks are now nothing more than the punch line to a sad joke, the Rangers recently became competitive again after a decade of not mattering, except now their entire sport doesn't matter, and MSG tried to censor Marv "Bite Me" Albert to the point that he left the network after over 30 years of service. And now it might buy the YES Network? The same network it refused to carry to millions of New York subscribers in the first year of the network's existence? No thanks.
- Comcast: Comcast has been buying its way into the content creation market recently, so this would be a logical and strategic acquisition for them. (See Comcast Weaves Video Web.) I don't know of any professional sports franchises that they've ruined, so on a scale of "horrible" to "not horrible," I'd rate this deal a "not horrible."
- News Corp: This is the one I am rooting for just because the YES Network would become so over-the-top with tabloid flavors that it would be hilariously entertaining in a terrifying sort of way. Imagine watching Alex Rodriguez step to the plate while the announcers in the booth bring in the stripper he hooked up with in Toronto for a guest interview. We need to make this happen.
- Verizon: I like Verizon a lot as a company. They've got some great next-generation services, a great stock, and a vision for the future that everyone is starting to get on board with. But are you ready for the "Verizon FiOS top of the second inning," the "Verizon FiOS call to the bullpen," or a player's "Verizon FiOS readjustment of his cup" brought to you by Verizon FiOS? All this going on while the sideline reporter continually interjects, "Can you hear me now?" I know I'm not ready.