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Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports

YES Network is about to enter the world of streaming, and hopefully by Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

From The Post:

YES Network is working toward offering its service direct-to-consumer by Yankees Opening Day at the end of March, The Post has learned. … While the aim is to be up and running by the time the Yankees face the Giants on March 30, YES won’t press go unless everything is lined up, so the start date could be moved. In late July, Yankees president and YES chairman Randy Levine said on WFAN’s “Carton & Roberts” that YES would have a DTC product “very soon.”

(…)

Where will YES DTC be available? Only in the local rights area, not everywhere. Maybe one day distribution will expand, but in the near term, if you are in the tri-state area where you can get Yankees games on YES, you’ll be able to buy this new product without cable.

This is a big step for YES. And one it desperately needed to take. It has become almost impossible to watch the Yankees in the cord-cutting era. YES is not available on any major streaming service in an era where cable subscribers dwindle by the day. There are only so many people who want to bother with the hassle of getting a VPN and fudging their way through MLB.TV. And from a long-term demographics standpoint, it cannot help the Yankees and YES that the Mets and SNY are easily accessible everywhere they are not.

The cost is likely going to be steep. NESN charges $30 a month for Red Sox games, as the report points out. But people will pay that if given an easy, on-the-books chance to watch the Bombers again. And it will only strengthen the Yankees’ partnership with Amazon Prime, since more customers will become conditioned to stream games.

Now if YES could only figure out a way to get Paul O’Neill back in the broadcast booth.

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.