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MLB lockout's impact on RSNs varies according to ownership structures

The TV fallout from MLB’s lockout is "already underway," as YES Network cancelled the recent edition of its “Yankees Hot Stove” Thursday night show, according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. On Friday, MLB Network said that it would "indefinitely suspend its live programming (MLBN will still air Hall of Fame news) until there is breaking news or the lockout is over." Raissman wrote YES will "likely evaluate airing future live shows depending on the status of the lockout." That has led him to believe “Yankees Hot Stove” will not air, "mostly because of a [MLB Commissioner] Rob Manfred edict, until the lockout ends." YES will "depend on 'The Michael Kay Show' simulcast for its lockout news." SNY will "continue airing 'BNNY' and 'Mets Hot Stove' throughout the lockout." Manfred said that legally, teams that own RSNs "will not be able to air video or audio content that has anything to do with current players." Raissman noted since SNY is owned by former Mets Owner Fred Wilpon, and not the Mets, it is "free to operate as it wants" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/4).

WHERE DID THE FACES GO? In Boston, Michael Silverman wrote the scrubbing of headshots and the new faceless avatars that grace rosters on MLB websites have "received a great deal of attention." According to the league, the switch was "not punitive," but done to "comply with federal labor laws as they pertain to the league’s use of the name, image, and likeness of its players." Meanwhile, a NESN spokesperson said that Red Sox player likenesses have "mostly been scrubbed on-air and online" (BOSTON GLOBE 12/4).

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