Delivering Results in Telecommunications and Government Affairs
 
 

Case Study: YES Network - Strategy and Execution for Defeating Legislation

The YES Network, available in New York, Connecticut and parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is the cable home of sports teams including the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and other professional and collegiate organizations. 

When the new stadium for the Minnesota Twins (due to open in 2010) was just a bill in the discussion phase at the Minnesota State Legislature, there was a fierce debate over how the project would be financed.  An idea came forward to implement a new tax on sports programming broadcast from the stadium, an idea which would have set a precedent for other teams to use in the future.  Such a tax would have made broadcasting games from the new stadium much more cost-prohibitive for networks like the YES Network.

The YES Network hired Bremer Law, P.C. to develop strategy for how to make sure that a programming tax was not included in the final ballpark bill, and then to monitor legislation to ensure it did not happen. 

Objectives

  • To block the inclusion of a programming tax in the financing plan for the new Minnesota Twins stadium
  • To accomplish this without stopping the bill from being passed and the stadium from being built

Strategies

  • Research and develop arguments for why a programming tax was not the best thing for the State of Minnesota, the Twins and the stadium project
  • Establish the argument that passing a programming tax would set a precedent that would place the Twins and the State of Minnesota in a negative position and jeopardize future interests
  • Approach key legislators in Minnesota and make arguments that such taxes were really not in the state’s and the Twins’ best interests

Results

Two years after YES approached Bremer Law, P.C., the ballpark bill passed the Minnesota Legislature – without a programming tax included in the stadium financing plan.

 

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