One ordinary day, I was hopping from Twitter page to Twitter page to see the latest in news, sports, and overall social media craziness.
Then something told me to go across the Twitter feed for MSG Networks, and I almost immediately noticed something different.
The MSG Twitter bio had mentioned it was the home for the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Sabres, Giants, and New York Red Bulls.
One team was conspicuously missing – the very same team that James Dolan and Madison Square Garden recently sold to Joseph Tsai – Alibaba executive and Brooklyn Nets minority (soon-to-be majority) owner.
Much has been made about where the New York Liberty will play its home games past the 2019 season, where they will return to Westchester County Center to play the majority of its home slate. The two likeliest destinations for the Liberty are Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale and Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Not much has been mentioned in terms of where Liberty contests will be seen this year. With the sale to the Nets’ minority owner complete, the natural answer would be YES Network, the broadcast home of the Nets, Yankees, and NYCFC.
The concern that even I had would be that the sale to Tsai would make things a bit uncertain on the television end of the spectrum. One advantage that MSG Networks presented was that it did not air either Yankees or Mets baseball during the summer months, meaning the Libs had prime real estate on the network during the WNBA season.
That may not always be the case in the case of the YES Network, which is primarily a Yankees-first channel from about April until October. Even with the Liberty being sold to Tsai, after doing some digging, there may still be potential for a good portion of New York’s schedule to still be available on the main YES Network channel if that is what is in the plans.
After comparing the schedules of the Liberty, Yankees, and NYCFC, there is the potential for up to 24 of the 34 games on the schedule for YES Network to air. The remaining 10 may be on a subchannel or League Pass exclusives.
It also includes the possibility for 10 of the Liberty’s home games to be seen on the main YES Network feed. Remember, New York is one of the three teams that do not have any nationally-televised games this year on the ESPN family of networks along with the Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky.
This is, of course, without the NBA TV schedule being announced or the Twitter schedule being announced. The Liberty’s own television schedule has yet to be announced, but one would think it would be the closer we arrive to opening night on May 24.
In the case of the Yankees, who will play a 162-game schedule this season, 21 of those games will be on PIX11 and 19 of them will be nationally televised. Meaning the remaining 122 or so will be broadcast on YES Network.
My potentially less-than-educated guess is we probably will not hear anything official until at least the conclusion of the Nets’ regular season or early to mid May. The conclusion of the Nets’ slate on YES would be a perfect launching pad for a Liberty announcement, but we shall see if that is the game plan. Only time…and a hint of patience….will tell.
Keeping that in mind, I decided to go game-by-game and do a deep dive into what the Libs’ schedule for 2019 could resemble.
Friday May 24 vs. Fever
YES Network should be able to air New York’s season opener at Westchester County Center with no issues. When the Liberty open the season in late May against Indiana, the Yankees’ game at the Kansas City Royals will air on PIX11.
Saturday June 1 at Fever
The latter half of the home-and-home with the Fever will probably be a YES2/League Pass exclusive, but not because of a Yankees conflict. On June 1, the Yankees will face the Red Sox in a nationally-televised contest on Fox, but YES will air a New York City FC contest with the Columbus Crew at 7:30 p.m.
Side note – WNBA local broadcast teams typically only do home games, so expect whichever network that airs the Liberty to likely simulcast the home feed for New York’s road games.
Tuesday June 4 vs. Sparks
This is one of the two 11am games the Liberty will play this season at a “To Be Announced” venue which could be Barclays Center. Given the time of this one, YES should air this one with no conflicts.
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) February 28, 2019
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) February 28, 2019
Friday June 7 vs Mystics
This one too will probably be a YES2/League Pass exclusive. The Yankees will face the Indians in Cleveland at 7:10 eastern and that is not either on the PIX11 or national schedules. The Libs’ tipoff at the County Center against Washington is slated for 7:30 that same night.
Sunday June 9 vs. Aces
New York will tipoff against Las Vegas, coached by the Liberty’s former coach in Bill Laimbeer at 3:00 p.m. The Yankees will conclude its three-game series at Cleveland that day starting at 1:10 Gotham time.
Wednesday June 12 vs. Lynx
When Sylvia Fowles and company pay its first visit to New York, that should be a YES Network telecast. Tipoff is at 7 p.m., but that is an off day for the Yankees.
Friday June 14 at Las Vegas
This should be one that YES should also be able to air on its main feed, of course via simulcast of the Aces’ telecast on AT&T SportsNet. Lib Loyals will have to stay up late for this one as it is a 10:30 tip, but the Pinstripes are on PIX11 when they host the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday June 15 at Sparks
This is an interesting one. The Liberty will conclude its west-coast road trip in Los Angeles at the Sparks via a 10 p.m. tip-off at Staples Center. As for the Yankees, they will be at Guaranteed Rate Field for a 7:10 first pitch with the White Sox on YES Network. The Yankees/White Sox game could theoretically end just in time to hypothetically accommodate the Liberty/Sparks tip-off or it may go just long enough to bump it to YES2/League Pass.
Wednesday June 19 vs Sky
The Yankees game with the Tampa Bay Rays is on YES this day, but first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 eastern. New York’s tipoff with the Sky at Westchester County Center is at 7:05, which should make it feasible for a YES Network airing.
Saturday June 22 at Lynx
This one, being a road game, will likely be a simulcast more than anything, but it is a simulcast that should make the main YES feed. With Fox airing the Yankees’ 7:15 home contest with the Houston Astros, it should clear the way for Liberty vs. Lynx on YES.
Friday June 28 vs. Wings
Before the Yankees play a pair of games with the Red Sox in London, they will have two off days – June 27-28. No Pinstripes on June 28 when New York faces Dallas at the County Center should mean a YES telecast from White Plains ought to be in order.
Saturday June 30 at Dream
Again – a simulcast of a road or League Pass feed, but it should commence when YES concludes its Yankees-Red Sox coverage. The Yankees-Red Sox game across the pond has a scheduled first pitch of 10:10 a.m. while the Dream’s scheduled tipoff with the Liberty is 3 p.m. at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. In addition, the London game is an ESPN telecast, anyway.
Wednesday July 3 at Storm
The Liberty’s first get-together of 2019 with the defending champion Storm will be at 3 p.m./12n Pacific. As for the Yankees that day, they will be conclude a midweek Subway Series with the Mets at CitiField. The latter game of that contest will be on ESPN.
Friday July 5 at Mercury
This creates a scenario similar to the June 15 contest in Los Angeles where a Libs’ tipoff will take place after a Yanks final pitch. The Pinstripes will be on the road in Tampa Bay for a 7:10 first pitch, while the Liberty head to Phoenix to face the Mercury for a 10 p.m. eastern tip. For this one, we will say that Yanks/Rays will conclude just in time for a New York/Phoenix airing on YES (or YES2 via Fox Sports Arizona/League Pass).
Sunday July 7 vs Aces
In the Yankees’ final game prior to the MLB All-Star Break, they’ll take to the diamond to conclude its three-game series with the Rays. The latter contest is slated for a 1:10 first pitch while the Aces/Liberty game at the County Center is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip. New York and Tampa will likely be in the seventh inning by the time the tipoff at Westchester takes place, so this one could be a YES2/League Pass exclusive.
Friday July 12 at Sky
It is somewhat unfortunate for Lib Loyals that New York is off through the duration of MLB’s All-Star break. After the home contest with Las Vegas, the Liberty take to the court in Chicago at Wintrust Arena to take on the Sky. Between the Yankees’ 7 p.m. first pitch with the Blue Jays and the 8 p.m. tipoff in the Windy City, this too will likely be a YES2/League Pass exclusive.
Sunday July 14 at Storm
With an assist from Seattle’s Joe TV, the Liberty should be back on YES for this one.
New York’s tipoff with the Storm is slated for 7 p.m. eastern. The Yankees will conclude its three-game weekend series at the Stadium with the Blue Jays at 1 p.m., which means that contest should conclude in plenty of time for YES to air the Liberty unless Yanks/Jays goes about ten or more extra innings.
Saturday July 20 vs Sparks
This one too looks like a YES2/League Pass exclusive.
That day, the Yankees will play the next-to-last game of a 10-game homestand when they host the Colorado Rockies in the Bronx. The 1 p.m. first pitch on YES overlaps with the 3 p.m. tipoff at Westchester County Center for Sparks/Liberty.
Wednesday July 24 at Sun
Up until late July – the final game prior to the WNBA’s All-Star Break in Las Vegas, New York will pay a visit to its neighbors north and east of Gotham in Connecticut. This one could be a YES airing because of the 11:30 a.m. tipoff – well before Yankees and Twins have their first pitch at 8 p.m.
Also – the Yankees/Twins game will be on PIX11 that night.
Thursday August 1 at Wings
The main YES feed could pick up the Liberty’s contest with the Dallas Wings in Arlington to commence the final full month of the WNBA regular season. With the men in pinstripes idle this day, this means YES should belong completely to the black and statue green when New York heads to Texas.
Sunday August 4 vs. Sun
A weekend game at the Westchester County Center means a 3 p.m. Libs’ tipoff when New York faces Connecticut this day. But unlike other occasions, there will be no need to worry about Yankees overlap as they will be at home for an ESPN broadcast at 7 p.m. against their arch rival Red Sox. Meaning this one has YES written all over it.
Wednesday August 7 at Sky
While the Liberty will pay a visit to the Windy City, the Bronx Bombers will be in Charm City as they conclude a three-game series at Camden Yards with the lowly (based on 2018 records) Baltimore Orioles.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and tipoff at Wintrust is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the baseball will be on YES’ schedule, likely bumping the Liberty to YES2/League Pass.
Sunday August 11 vs Storm
The short roadtrip for New York will be followed by their next two games being at home. The first of which will be against the defending champion Storm.
That same day, the Yankees conclude a four-game series with the Blue Jays in Toronto. The 1 p.m. first pitch in the 6ix is two hours prior the 3 p.m. tipoff in Westchester, so this one may also be put in the YES2/League Pass file.
Tuesday August 13 vs Lynx
This one will be the second of the two 11 a.m. games the Liberty will play at home, but away from Westchester County Center. Given the time – and that it is well before first pitch of Yankees/Orioles at Yankee Stadium that same day (7 p.m.), this one should be all YES.
Friday August 16 at Wings
When looking at the Yankees’ 7 p.m. scheduled first pitch with the Cleveland Indians and the Liberty’s 8 p.m. tipoff in Arlington, it may be easy to think that this one too will be bumped to League Pass and YES2.
Except – this one is one of the 21 games that will air via PIX11, so YES should be all clear to simulcast the feed from Dallas.
Sunday August 18 at Mercury
The time of 6 p.m. eastern is 4 p.m. Phoenix time. Either or, it still is well after first pitch of the Yankees’ home game with the Indians, which is slated for 1 p.m. So, it creates a situation where YES can go into Libs mode after Yankees postgame.
Tuesday August 20 at Fever
Two days later, New York travels to the basketball hub that is Indiana to face the team that they played on opening night of the season. With a simulcast from the Fever’s feed, this one could air on YES thanks to the 7 p.m. tipoff and the Yanks’ being in Oakland for a 10 p.m. eastern first pitch with the Athletics.
Yankees pregame could start at the conclusion of Liberty/Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Friday August 23 vs Dream
A similar outcome could play out on August 23 when the Liberty host the Dream at Westchester County Center.
New York’s tipoff with Atlanta is set for 7:30, but first pitch of Yankees/Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine is 10:10 eastern time, creating another possibility of a Yankee pregame starting at the conclusion of a Liberty game.
Sunday August 25 at Mystics
The next-to-last road game for the Liberty of the 2019 season will be on August 25 when the Mystics await New York at the DC Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington’s Congress Heights neighborhood.
That game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but with the final game of the Yanks’ series with the Dodgers being an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast, it could clear the way for a YES airing via Monumental Sports Network.
Tuesday August 27 vs Mercury
New York will play four of its final five games at home – including on August 27 against the Phoenix Mercury.
The theme with the Yankees being on the west coast will persist as the 7 p.m. Merc/Libs tip will not interfere with first pitch in Seattle at 10 p.m. for Yankees and Mariners – so YES could air both.
Friday August 30 vs Sun
This day, the Yankees will play another team from the west coast – only on New York’s home diamond in the Bronx.
YES will air its 7 p.m. game with the Oakland A’s as the Liberty’s game with the Sun is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. airing. Likely outcome – YES2/League Pass.
Tuesday September 3 vs Mystics
The first game for the Liberty in September will see them host the Washington Mystics in White Plains.
With the tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. and the Yankees’ home contest with the Texas Rangers scheduled for a 6:30 first pitch, a YES2/League Pass exclusive setup could be in order as well for this one.
Friday September 6 vs Fever
Ironically enough, the very same team that the Liberty opened their (home) season against will be the same team they close out its home slate as well when New York hosts the Indiana Fever in what could be their last game at Westchester County Center.
The home finale has the possibility of being a YES Network telecast given the 7:30 tipoff along with the fact that the Yankees will be in Boston to renew its rivalry with the Red Sox. That game at Fenway, scheduled for a 7 p.m. first pitch, will air on PIX11.
Sunday September 8 at Dream
The Liberty’s regular season schedule concludes in Atlanta at the Dream in State Farm Arena.
There is a 4 p.m. tipoff scheduled between Atlanta and New York while YES will not be airing a Yankees game as they will be on ESPN when they take on the Red Sox at Fenway Park.