YES App launches real-time, interactive stats on smart TVs

The YES Network debuted its interactive Live Stats feature on smart TVs this week, allowing fans to engage with real-time data while watching a live baseball game in progress.

The feature rolled out to users of the YES App on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google TV during the match-up between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees on Tuesday. A similar feature became available on the YES App for phones and tablets earlier this year.

The Live Stats product is powered through a partnership with Ease Live, an enterprise-level software developer that offers interactive graphics and real-time data that integrates with a broadcaster's over-the-top video application.

For the YES Network, Ease Live provided real-time daily, season and career stats for players on the field; a pitch speedometer; information on bench and bullpen players; divisional standings and similar data.

"One of the goals that we've had from the beginning is to create an immersive ecosystem where fans can have everything at their fingertips," Kevin Sullivan, the YES Network's former head of digital media, said in a 2021 interview with the website Sports Video. (Sullivan is now an executive in charge of social marketing strategies at Sinclair Broadcast Group).

YES App interactive stats
The feature rolled out on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google TV during the match-up between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees on Tuesday. (Ease Live)

The investment in new technology at YES Network comes at a time when the regional sports channel is trying to draw more people toward their subscription streaming service, which launched earlier this year and costs $25 a month. The YES Network is the exclusive in-market home for New York Yankees games, as well as the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty pro basketball teams.

While YES Network is building up its regional sports product, other broadcasters are struggling to keep theirs afloat, or simply choosing to walk away from that business. In February, Warner Bros Discovery said it intends to exit the regional sports market by the end of the year, a move that will impact a handful of AT&T SportsNet-branded channels. One month later, Sinclair's Diamond Sports division, which operates nearly two dozen Bally Sports-branded channels, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Diamond Sports has missed several rights payments, which has led to some professional sports teams recapturing telecast rights for themselves.

Diamond Sports is a partial owner of YES Network, but the channel appears insulated from the effects of the ongoing bankruptcy case. The channel is pressing forward with several new interactive features for fans who stream live sports through the YES App, including a watch party feature that will allow sports enthusiast to watch games with others through their TV sets.

Another feature, called Pick-N-Play Live, is billed as "the first-ever real-time, in-game, single-screen watch-and-play experience." It allows fans to bet on different outcomes while a game is in progress, and awards tokens that can be redeemed for different prizes. YES Network said Pick-N-Play Live was "the first-ever feature of its kind for any live sports rights holder – regional or national – in the country."