What Does Biggest Rights Deal In MLB History For WFAN Mean For New York Yankees?

By James Williams
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the New York Yankees have made big news off the field this week as they will changing their flagship radio stations from WCBS to WFAN.

The Yankees and CBS have agreed to a deal in principle that will keep the team with the CBS radio group, but the games will air on WFAN. It was a deal that allowed CBS to keep the Yankees as part of their radio family but move them to WFAN, where it is thought to be a better fit for the team.

Multiple media outlets have the new Yankee radio deal at 10 years and at least worth $15 million a year, with incentives that could make the deal worth as much as a staggering $200 million. Either way, the new deal sets a radio rights fee record in MLB history. The deal will also include the rights to broadcast the MLS 2014 expansion team, the New York City Football Club.

As for the broadcast team of  John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, since they are paid for and employed the Yankees, nothing is expected to change. But Sterling, at 70-years old and Waldman at 67-years old, will likely retire sometime during the course of the 10-year deal, opening the door for some younger voices, and they might come from present WFAN staffers.

The move means that the New York Mets will have to find another broadcast partner for next season and beyond, but the move to WFAN is a dream come true for Yankee fans who vent their anger at the team or celebrate their success by calling into the top all-sports radio outlet in New York City.

Make no mistake about it, this was all about the business for the Yankees, and not about the fans. It all about the money and as always, it seems like the Yankees have no trouble finding outlets willing to give them the cash.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and join his circle at Goggle +

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