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

Most recent headlines


Game better with DTS Headphone:X

The best gamers know DTS Headphone:X technology ups their play. Now major magazines have caught on, too. DTS Headphone:X technology creates immersive soundsc...


Nielsen: Asian Representation in Streaming TV Shows Nearly Doubles

NEW YORK A new report from Nielsen has found a significant increase in the representation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander in streaming T...


NEP Group Releases Supershooter 6

PITTSBURGH NEP Group has announced that its U.S. Broadcast Services team has released a new mobile unit, Supershooter 6, powered by NEP's Broadcast Control ...


San Diego Gulls Add New Away-Game Coverage With Dejero EnGo For Contribution

SAN DIEGO The San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) have expanded game coverage across KSWB (Fox-5) and KFMB (CBS-8) here as well as via streaming...


Netflix Renews VFX Agreement with DNEG

LONDON Visual effects services (VFX) provider DNEG has announced a new multiyear services agreement with Netflix....


Altice to Offer 5 Gig Fiber Internet

NEW YORK Optimum, a brand of Altice USA, has announced that it will soon be offering Optimum 5 Gig Fiber Internet, a broadband tier that the company is billing ...


Pluto TV Launches In Nordics

COPENHAGEN / STOCKHOLM / OSLO Pluto TV has expanded to the Nordics, launching in Sweden, Denmark and Norway with a programming line-up that features more than 7...


Dave Benco Joins Dielectric as Western Sales Manager

RAYMOND, Maine Dielectric has appointed 27-year broadcast industry veteran Dave Benco as the company's Western sales manager. Reporting to Vice President of...


Mary Baynes Named VP and News Director for CBS Television Stations' Sacramento Properties

SACRAMENTO Veteran local news executive Mary Baynes has been named vice presiden...


Berklee City Music Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Berklee City Music Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts The $25,000 award will support City Music's High School Academy and Preparatory...


May 18, 2022

Scripps Research awarded $67 million by NIH to lead new pandemic preparedness center The multidisciplinary center will focus on development of antiviral drugs t...


CBC Cares Ukraine Continues with Highlights from CBC Divisions

Every Capitol Broadcasting division is taking part in a CBC Cares effort to highlight the agencies and organizations supporting Ukraine. From parking lot flags...


Documentary Storytelling With Care: A Learning Process

-- By Stephanie Ornelas In all things, to progress - to get better - means to listen and to learn. For documentary filmmakers, it's paramount they list...


The Sundance Labs: Where Indie Films Go To Thrive

-- Greg Nava (far left) and Anna Thomas attend a Directors Lab at the Sundance Resort in 1981....


Spotify och Accenture samarbetar fr att erbjuda Spotify Premium som en anstllningsfrmn

Musik och podcasts r inte bara till f r underh llning - det r ocks bra f r at...


Director Anthony P. Leslie Brings Frequency's Free Studio to Life in a New Documentary

Last year, Spotify created Frequency, a global initiative and holistic destinati...


The Art of Letting Go' Podcaster Mike Brown Talks Collaboration, Growth, and the Importance of Supporting Black Creators

In February, Spotify hosted The Free Studio, a four-day residency that brought n...


Spotify and Accenture Collaborate To Offer Spotify Premium As an Employee Perk

Music and podcasts aren't just for entertainment-they're great for focusing, unwinding, and learning, too. With our new offering, Spotify for Work, a ...


The Legacy Continues

As one of Amazon Prime's earliest hits, Bosch left a legion of watchers wanting more after its Season 7 finale. Bosch fans can rest assured knowing that the...


Adding Manufacturing Speed with Augmented Reality

Just as augmented reality overlays can reduce soldier workload by providing on-demand situational awareness in a heads-up display, the technology likewise eases...


GSMA Reports 62% of Mobile Sector to Cut Emissions This Decade

Despite Double-Digit Growth in Data Traffic and 5G Expansions, Operators Limited Carbon Emissions Growth to 2% in 2021 18 May, London: The number of mobile ope...


EditShare Delivers Award-Winning Technology for Media Production Leaders in the Middle East

EditShare Delivers Award-Winning Technology for Media Production Leaders in the ...


Fixed Wireless Home Internet Gaining on Traditional Cable Broadband

DURHAM, NH Consumers who want to literally cut the final cord from their cable providers are accelerating their adoption of fixed wireless home internet service...


XFL Inks Distribution Deal with Disney

NEW YORK The XFL has announced a new, global multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, which includes exclusive broadcast rights for all gamed...


FCC Will Consider Franken FMs in June

Franken FM is on the agenda at the FCC....


OWC Showcases Workflow Solutions at NAB Show

OWC was at the 2022 NAB Show highlighting its solutions designed to give content creators the ability to extend the capabilities of their processing and storage...


ATSC Releases Details for its Detroit Meeting

The ATSC has released the agenda for its annual meeting next month. Traditionally held in May in Washington D.C., the conference is moving this year to Detroit,...


Berklee Launches Connect 2022 EDI Summit

Berklee Launches Connect 2022 EDI Summit Sponsored by Ableton and Elektron, the four-day program unites industry-leading creatives, manufacturers, and educato...


Alumnus Receives Fulbright Award to India

Alumnus Receives Fulbright Award to India Calvin McCormack M.M. '21, a graduate of Berklees campus in Valencia, Spain, is the third Berklee alum to receiv...


DNEG signs multi-year VFX and virtual production agreement with Netflix

The non-exclusive agreement will see DNEG provide premium VFX services for Netflix across domestic and international markets By Jenny Priestley Published: May...


ITV Content Services aims to preserve films for future generations with Prasad Corp agreement

Scanity produces digitisation for new feature films, film archive scanning for m...


50 cameras to cover UEFA Europa League final

Mediapro will have 200 members of staff on site for the match, employing two OB units By Jenny Priestley Published: May 18, 2022 Mediapro will have 200 mem...


Telestream extends cloud media processing capabilities with acquisition

Technology fits perfectly within the strategic direction at Telestream said CEO ...


Bill Abbott's GAC Plans DTC App With Original Content, Social Functions

Former Hallmark Channel head Bill Abbott, whose family-friendly GAC Media has started to build an ardent following, plans to launch a direct-to-consumer app cal...


FCC Seeks Input on COVID-19 Impact on Competition

The FCC is seeking comment on its latest report to Congress on the state of competition in the communications marketplace, the first under new chair Jessica Ros...


TV Ad Impressions Grew During 2021-22 Season: iSpot Report

While many are ready to shovel dirt on traditional television, measurement company has issues a new report on the 2021-22 television season that shows ...


IAS Launches Control Panel To Report ROI on Contextual Targeting

Integral Ad Science said it has launched Control Panel, a group of reporting and planning tools that help clients understand the value and return on investment ...


Jimmy Kimmel Bringing Show Back to Brooklyn in the Fall

ABC said that its late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! will be returning to Brooklyn, New York, in the fall....


Upfronts: Donna Speciale Touts New Televisa-Univision Combo

Backed by more resources and more programming thanks to Univision's combination with Televisa, Donna Speciale, president of U.S. advertising sales and marke...


ABC Shares Fall 2022 Schedule

ABC has revealed its fall schedule, in advance of its upfront presentation in New York May 17. New series include dramas The Rookie: Feds and Alaska....


Syndication Ratings: Jeopardy!' Jumps as Mattea Roach Exits

Jeopardy! gained in the week ended May 8 as super-contestant Mattea Roach departed the show on Friday, May 6 after racking up $560,983 in winnings before losing...


Len Fogge Joins AMC Networks as President, Marketing

AMC Networks continued to make changes in its leadership team, with marketing veteran Len Fogge named president of marketing....


TelevisaUnivision Speaks of Reaching All Viewers on All Platforms at Upfront Show

TelevisaUnivision held its upfront presentation at the Javits Center in New York...


Telestream Acquires

NEVADA CITY, Calif. Telestream has acquired privately held cloud media processing firm, the company announced today. Financial details were not dis...


iWedia Launches ATSC 3.0 Software Stack

LAUSANNE, Switzerland iWedia has launched its ATSC 3.0 broadcast and broadband software stack, a new offering that is designed to speed up ATSC 3.0 deployments ...


Scripps, Google Partner on Broadcast Journalism Initiative

CINCINNATI The E.W. Scripps Company and Google have announced that they will be working together on a multi-year initiative to help experienced journalists with...


FCC Seeks Input on COVID-19 Impact on Competition

The FCC is seeking comment on its latest report to Congress on the state of competition in the communications marketplace, the first under new chair Jessica Ros...


ESPN to Provide Alternative Telecast of PGA Championship

BRISTOL, Conn. Following its success with alternative broadcasts of Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Manning, ESPN is planning to offer an alternative ...


Syncbak Taps Mike Fass as VP of Broadcast Services

NEW YORK Syncbak has appointed broadcast and streaming technology executive Mike Fass as vice president of broadcast services....


Digital Nirvana Hires Jim Daves as Senior Director of Sales

FREMONT, Calif. Digital Nirvana, a provider of media monitoring and metadata generation services, has announced that Jim Daves has joined the company as its new...