Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

YES Network Celebrates 20 Years With the NBA's Nets


YES Network Celebrates 20 Years With the NBA's Nets From New Jersey to Brooklyn, it has been an exhilarating ride for the broadcaster By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:41 pm

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

In 2002, YES Network launched on March 19 with Yankees baseball, and then, on Oct. 30, it broadcast its first New Jersey Nets game. This NBA season marks the 20th that YES Network has been home to Nets basketball. Over two decades, the network has followed the team from the Meadowlands to Newark and then, 10 years ago, across the Hudson River to Brooklyn. For YES Network, it was a huge deal, providing a viewing proposition that didn't begin and end with Yankees baseball.

It has been such a wonderful transition and ride from New Jersey to Brooklyn, says Jared Boshnack, VP, production, YES Network. Seeing the community aspects of what is actually taking place in Brooklyn and the way we've been able to grow this product, it's really something else. And we feel that, toe-to-toe on a regional level, there is no better product. For us, it's just night in, night out bringing the enthusiasm, the energy. We have Mike Webb [VP, broadcast operations and engineering, YES Network] and his team on the operations side giving us all the tools we need, and producer Frank DiGraci on his side with the talent and the production core that surrounds him is just the best in the business.

Mike Webb oversees broadcast operations for YES Network.

Webb recalls the pivot from Yankee baseball to Nets basketball as well as the steep learning curve.

The hardest thing to get adjusted to was the fact that you were doing this every day, says Webb. The home games were fairly easy, but the road games were new to navigate because we had to learn the NBA Visiting Telecast Program and how you ordered things through the rate cards and so forth and so on. It was all about learning those pieces of the puzzle, but it was fun.

In year two, DiGraci joined the team as producer, having served as Nets producer for MSG Networks for four years.

I knew the players, I knew [announcer] Ian Eagle, so I just had to learn about everyone at YES, he recalls. And I remember two things about when we started. First, when the graphics came up for the Yankees game, we were like, This is real.' There were a lot of doubters in the marketplace, especially from the competition, but that graphic package popped, and we knew right away this is not going [away]. [Second,] I remember how every single person there was just so nice, as John Filippelli [president, production and programming, YES Network] did not hire any jerks. It was almost like that was his mantra: I'm gonna build this from scratch, and I'm gonna have good people.'

DiGraci particularly appreciated the amount of attention the Nets production team received from YES.

YES Network's Frank DiGraci in the truck at Barclays Center (Photo: E.H. Wallop/YES Network)

The Nets were, and are, extremely important to the network, he says. There was definitely a feeling of importance, whereas, to be honest, at MSG Network and SportsChannel, the Nets were just one of seven teams. At YES, the shows got more attention, more equipment, more facilities, a full-time studio presence, a full-time pregame, halftime, and postgame.

Only the Best Talent When Filippelli joined the YES Network, he brought an eye for talent, developed at national networks, and immediately helped YES Network both bring in and develop top-notch talent across the board.

We started with Ian Eagle, who came over from SportsChannel/Fox Sports New York, DiGraci recalls. And then we had Marv Albert for six years. Spero Dedes started with us, and he went national. Ryan Ruocco started with us and went national. Mark Jackson is another example: three months after finishing with us, he was doing the NBA Finals for ABC. Michelle Beadle started with us as a reporter. Now Michael Grady is one of the best in the country and getting his chance. And [current full-time analyst] Sarah Kustok has done some national reporting.

The key to developing a good broadcast team, DiGraci believes, is having a family atmosphere and finding people who are comfortable with the production team. Finding the right announcer often begins with finding people who are generous and caring, people who make a good teammate.

From the early days of YES Network, announce team Mark Jackson (left) and Marv Albert (Photo: E.H. Wallop/YES Network)

That translates to their being comfortable with each other and then comfortable on the air. Our goal is to have viewers feel as though the announcers are watching the game with them. With Sarah and Ian, it feels like you're just watching the game, and they give you the feeling you are all in it together.

This year's full broadcast team comprises Eagle and Ruocco on play-by-play; Kustok and former Net Richard Jefferson as analysts; courtside reporter Grady; studio hosts Bob Lorenz, Nancy Newman, and Chris Shearn; and studio analyst Frank Isola. Ian Eagle has won six straight play-by-play Emmys. Sarah has won two straight analyst Emmys. They are the first play-by-play and analyst covering the same team at the same network to win in the same year, and they've done it back-to-back.

DiGraci says Kustok does more homework than any analyst in the league when it comes to watching film, studying rosters, and talking to coaches.

Key to great success on-air? The relationships off-air, and establishing that begins with the interview process.

What kind of person are you? Are you generous, caring? Will you be a good teammate?, DiGraci explains, noting that, if the answers are yes, the chemistry happens and we can have fun on the bus, on the planes, telling stories and building it that way. And that trans
See more stories from svg

North America Stories


Tegna Deal Critics Say FCC Needs More Data

Critics of the $8 billion-plus purchase of Tegnas TV station group by investment fund Standard General have told the FCC it needs to collect more data on the pr...


Kenan', Mr. Mayor', The Endgame' Done at NBC

Comedies Kenan and Mr. Mayor, and drama The Endgame will not return on NBC. Kenan lasted two seasons, as did Mr. Mayor. The Endgame lasted one....


Gray Names Ron Bartholomew GM of WNDU-TV, South Bend

Gray Television said it named Ron Bartholomew as general manager of WNDU-TV, South Bend, Indiana....


Nielsen Says Go-Shop Period Ends With No New Proposals

Nielsen, which has agreed to be acquired by a private-equity group led by Elliott Investment Management, said that its go-shop period has expired without an alt...


Federal Agencies To Share, Standardize, Broadband Data

The FCC, Department of Agriculture, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (all of which oversee broadband subsidy programs) and the Treasure ...


Lisa White Named VP/News Director at KPIX-KBCW San Francisco

Lisa White has been named vice president and news director at KPIX-KBCW San Francisco Bay Area, which are part of the CBS News and Stations group. She has been ...


CBS Orders Three New Dramas

CBS has ordered three dramas for the 2022-2023 season, cop drama East New York, firefighter drama Fire Country and private investigator drama So Help Me Todd....


Nancy Daniels To Run Turner Nets as Brett Weitz Leaves Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery's U.S. Networks Group will be reorganized under Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer, with long-time Discovery executiv...


Natasha Lyonne Hosts SNL' Season Finale

Natasha Lyonne will host the season finale of Saturday Night Live on NBC May 21. It is her first time hosting....


ABC Renews AFHV', American Idol', Bachelor', Celeb' Wheel' and Shark Tank'

ABC has renewed unscripted series America's Funniest Home Videos, American I...


ESPN to Offer Record 23-Game NFL Slate

BRISTOL, Conn. ESPN has unveiled a record-setting 23-game NFL slate for the 2022 Season that includes 21 regular season games, plus the Monday night Super Wild ...


Lisa White Named VP and News Director for CBS Television Stations' San Francisco Bay Area Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO Veteran local news executive Lisa White has been named vice presid...


TelevisaUnivision's Uforia Expands Podcast Offerings

MIAMI TelevisaUnivision's audio network Uforia has announced that it is expanding its podcast offerings....


Gray Television Names Ron Bartholomew GM of WNDU

ATLANTA Gray Television has named Ron Bartholomew the new general manager of WNDU, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, Indiana (DMA 99)....


URSA Mini Pro 12K Used for VFX on 'The Gilded Age'

FREMONT, Calif. Blackmagic Design has announced that a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K digital film camera was used to capture visual effects (VFX) plates for the ...


blue Taps Rohde & Schwarz for Studio Production and Storage Tech

MUNICH Rohde & Schwarz has announced that its high-performance intelligent storage network, as well as its media servers for content preparation have been deplo...


Amazon Prime Video, NFL Unveil Thursday Night Football 2022 Schedule

NEW YORK The NFL and Amazon Prime Video have unveiled the schedule for the Thursday Night Football (TNF) games that will be streamed exclusively on Prime Video....


Kendrick Lamars New Album Is Full of Berklee Collaborators

Kendrick Lamars New Album Is Full of Berklee Collaborators Berklee alumni played significant roles in every step of the creation of Kendricks double album, Mr...


A Game Plan for Submitting Your Work to a Film Festival

-- John Nein is a senior programmer for the Sundance Institute....


Ryan Coogler and Friends: Creating a Soundscape on Film

Ryan Coogler and Ludwig G ransson have worked together on several films, including Fruitvale Station. By Vanessa Zimmer Why do people say they watched a movie...


Actionable Intelligence at the Speed of Light

Nations around the world - from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea - are facing increasingly aggressive actions from adversarial superpowers and terrorist orga...


The Eyes Have It

Imagine the scene: it's midday, and, somewhere in eastern Europe, a special operations team patrols through thick woodland to find and fix enemy positions c...


Roku Upgrades Its Top-of-the-Line Streaming Player

SAN JOSE, Calif. Roku has announced that its most powerful streaming player, the Roku Ultra, will include Roku's top-of-the-line remote, the Roku Voice Remo...


Scener Launches Mobile App to Simplify TV Viewing

LOS ANGELES Scener, a destination for finding and sharing streaming entertainment, has announced the launch of a new mobile application designed to enhance and ...


Dish Wireless Selects Radcom to Monitor Its 5G Network

TEL AVIV, Israel Radcom has announced that it was selected by Dish Wireless to provide its Radcom Ace solution to monitor customers experience across Dishs 5G S...


NAB Now Accepting Applications for Technology Apprenticeship Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. The NAB Leadership Foundation (NABLF) has announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2023 Technology Apprenticeship Program (TAP)....


New Gaian Solutions Monetization Platform Accelerates ATSC 3.0 Commercialization

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. Gaian Solutions unveiled its Mobius Marketplace NextGen TV monetization platform, an AI-based ATSC 3.0 spectrum planning tool intended to e...


Blackbird Hires Sumit Rai as Chief Product Officer

Blackbird plc announced the appointment of Sumit Rai as chief product officer. He will join the company in June, to lead the strategic development and direction...


Comcast, Charter Tap Marcien Jenckes to Head New Streaming Venture

STAMFORD, Conn. & PHILADELPHIA, Penn. Charter Communications and Comcast Corporation have selected Marcien Jenckes as president of their recently announced stre...


Julius P. Williams Composes Song for 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial Rededication

Julius P. Williams Composes Song for 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial Rededi...


Broadpeak Showcases Superior Video Streaming Experiences at BroadcastAsia 2022

At BroadcastAsia 2022, Broadpeak will highlight how pay-TV operators, content providers, and OTT players can provide a compelling video streaming experience to ...


blue Entertainment AG Invests in Rohde and Schwarz Studio Production and Storage Technology

Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies, has today anno...


Zero Density Wins Product of the Year Award at NAB 2022

Zero Density is proud to announce that its AI-powered, talent-tracking system, TRAXIS talentS, has won a Product of the Year award at this year's NAB! The a...


Capturing The UNLV Symphonic Wind Ensemble with Quantum 2626 and Studio One

The way I found out about Studio One and PreSonus: I had lunch with Bob Moses (president of the Audio Engineering Society at one time) and I asked him some que...


NAB 2022 Perspectives: Cobalt Digital's Suzana Brady on Foreseeing the Challenges of COVID-19, Celebrating the Company's 25th Anniversary

NAB 2022 Perspectives: Cobalt Digitals Suzana Brady on Foreseeing the Challenges...


BT Group Forms New Premium Sports Joint Venture With Warner Bros. Discovery, BT Sport

BT Group forms a new premium sports joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery an...


SVG Returns to Sydney for SVG Australia Summit on June 1

SVG Returns to Sydney for SVG Australia Summit on June 1 Register now to attend event at Telstra Customer Insight Centre in Sydney By SVG Staff Friday, May 1...


NAB 2022 Perspectives: Vizrt CTO Gerhard Lang on the Future of Adaptive Graphics and AI

NAB 2022 Perspectives: Vizrt CTO Gerhard Lang on the Future of Adaptive Graphics...


Families in Recovery: Susan Ford on Her Mother's Legacy and the Founding of the Betty Ford Center

Families in Recovery: Susan Ford on Her Mother's Legacy and the Founding of ...


Progress to Participate in the 17th Annual Needham Technology & Media Conference

BURLINGTON, Mass., May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Progress (Nasdaq: PRGS), the trusted provider of infrastructure software, today announced that Anthony Folge...


Become a Grouping Groupie

Recently, I did some mix consulting on a 60-track project centered around Ukrainian relief-and as someone who usually works with far fewer tracks, it reminded m...


Broom, Broom: WeRide Revs Up Self-Driving Street Sweepers Powered by NVIDIA

When it comes to safety, efficiency and sustainability, autonomous vehicles are delivering a clean sweep. Autonomous vehicle company and NVIDIA Inception membe...


WRAL-TV's Brain Game Wraps Season 26

Tune in to watch the final show of Brain Game s 26th season on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at noon on WRAL-TV. WRAL-TV Local Production Producer Scott Reid wrote t...


Meet the 20 Mediamakers Selected for the new Sundance Institute Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

-- Pilot Program Directs Individual Support to Pandemic-Affected Nonfiction St...


Prosperous Collaboration

As the global leader in tactical radio, broadband networking and integrated vision solutions, L3Harris Technologies is well positioned to provide advanced capab...


SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022

2:40 - 3:00 PM PT in room 520c The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (RST) is a Hubble-size telescope with a large field of view for large surveys of the sky, ...


The Power of Convergence

L3Harris Technologies has led the way in offering solutions for converging traditional Land Mobile Radio (LMR) communications and LTE carriers with the latest i...


10 Questions with the Creator: Shon Bollock + Impermanence: Rafting the Grand Canyon

GoPro Family member Shon Bollock recently set out to document he and his father ...