NYCFC on Tape Delay Today – Will it Happen Again?

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As everyone knows by now, today’s New York City FC game against Philadelphia will not be broadcast live on local TV due to a conflict with the New York Yankees postgame show. Instead YES will begin the NYCFC broadcast on tape delay at 5pm, an hour after kickoff. While this kind of arrangement might have worked 35 years ago it’s a more of an issue today. Like many fans I prefer to watch the game while simultaneously monitoring Twitter, reddit and various other online platforms. It’s basically impossible in 2015 to pretend the game isn’t happening for an hour while waiting for a delayed broadcast to start.

I understand YES was created specifically to broadcast Yankees games and promote the team.  It makes sense that the Bombers are the network’s first priority (It’s important to note that YES is eighty percent owned by FOX, so it may not even be up to the Yankees). One observation I saw online this week, either on reddit or NYCFC Forums, was that the Yankees postgame is probably going to draw a bigger audience than a live NYCFC game. That’s almost certainly true. Although if that’s the rationale the network used it seems pretty shortsighted. It’s basically a self-reinforcing idea – soccer is much less popular, therefore we should go with the Yankees postgame. But by going that route they’re only perpetuating the idea that NYCFC is a second-rate organization for a longer period of time among the general New York sports audience. It creates the perception that this new project doesn’t have real value, at least not enough to warrant prioritization over a studio postgame show.

Obviously this is a bit of an overreaction – it’s a minor inconvenience for NYCFC fans – but you’d also never see a delayed broadcast for a Yankees game. It’s the kind of thing that only happens to a “small time” franchise. What’s puzzling is that NYCFC isn’t even getting bumped for a Yankees game, just the recap. I don’t know the exact number, but YES broadcasts the overwhelming majority of Yankees games, probably about 125-130 a season. Surely canceling or abbreviating one postgame show is less of an inconvenience for Yankees fans than playing a game on tape-delay is for NYCFC fans.

Anyway, that’s the arrangement, I doubt it’s a fight NYCFC/MLS can win. With that in mind I wanted to see how many times this might happen this season – particularly for road games because I have season tickets and if the team is at home at least fans have the option of going to the game to watch live.

I went through the whole schedule and picked out the games that will be on YES, then matched that against the Yankees broadcast schedule. Fortunately there are only a couple more conflicts after today. Saturday, June 20th (Away – Toronto) is a direct hit, with both teams scheduled to play on YES at the same time. Either one of those will change or we’ll watch the taped NYCFC game around midnight. Saturday, September 12th (Away – Dallas) is basically the same situation as today – the Yankees play a few hours before NYCFC, so if their game goes long the postgame show could interfere again.

The only other potential conflict right now is May 20th against Houston, when NYCFC’s game precedes the Yankees by three hours (7pm, 10pm). That shouldn’t be an issue unless the network cuts away from soccer for the Yankees pregame show, but that seems like a real stretch.

Here’s the complete list for anyone who’s interested. Good luck watching the game today, however you decide to go about it:

Date NYCFC Game NYY Game NYY TV Result
11-Apr at Philly, 4pm 1pm, BOS YES Conflict
16-Apr Philly, 7pm No OK
23-May at Salt Lake, 10pm 1pm, TEX WPIX OK
30-May Houston, 7pm 10pm, OAK YES Pregame?
6-Jun at Philly, 7pm 715pm, LAA FOX OK
13-Jun Montreal, 7pm 615pm, BAL FOX OK
20-Jun at Toronto, 7pm 7pm, DET YES Conflict
4-Jul at Montreal, 8pm 1pm, TB FS1 OK
18-Jul at NE Rev, 730pm 1pm, SEA YES Enough Time
1-Aug Montreal, 2pm 7pm, ChiSox WPIX OK
13-Aug DC, 7pm 7pm, CLE WPIX OK
19-Aug at Columbus, 730pm 1pm, MIN YES Enough Time
29-Aug Columbus, 4pm 7pm, ATL FS1 OK
12-Sep at Dallas, 830pm 4pm, TOR YES Conflict
16-Sep Toronto, 7pm 7pm, TB WPIX OK
19-Sep San Jose, 7pm 1pm, Mets FOX OK
26-Sep at Vancouver, 10pm TBD TBD
25-Oct NE Rev, 5pm TBD TBD

 

*Photo from rickremington’s Flickr

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