EpandMedia’s Len Epand created two radio spots and material for a television commercial for Cablevision explaining the cable provider’s reasons for not agreeing to the initial terms insisted upon by the NY Yankees’ sports channel, the YES Network. The dispute kept YES off Cablevision systems for the previous year. YES’ exorbitant cost would have forced cable rates to rise for all Cablevision customers whether they wanted to watch Yankees games or not. Commissioned by Washington D.C. ad agency Squier Knapp Dunn Communications (SKDC), the spots were targeted at the New Jersey and New York State legislators who were considering forcing Cablevision to carry YES. With Cablevision’s position articulated through these and other SKDC spots the New Jersey legislature decided not to move on legislation. This provided impetus for YES to soften its position such that the two parties were able to reach a compromise March 12 in a settlement shepherded by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
One of EpandMedia’s radio spots, “Call Now,” aired in the Trenton, New Jersey area. The other, “Dental,” aired in Albany, New York.
The TV spot featured real people around New Jersey voicing their opinions of the Cablevision/YES dispute. But the spot did not air since the settlement was reached the day after the shoot.
As observed by New York Times’ Richard Sandomir: “In advertising…Cablevision has questioned the priorities of lawmakers who would vote the YES party line.”