Updated from 3:18 p.m. ESTCablevision's ( CVC) YES mess seems to have been resolved. An arbitration panel ruled that the New York area cable TV operator must carry the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network -- the sports channel best known for its carriage of Yankees baseball games -- as part of its expanded basic channel lineup for the next six years, The New York Times reported Wednesday. While Cablevision won't be able to continue its preferred practice of offering YES on an "a la carte" basis -- that is, only to subscribers who specifically order it -- Cablevision won't have to pay as much for the service as YES had requested, according to the Times. The reported deal represents the latest resolution of a series of cable and satellite industry disputes over the terms and cost of programming, particularly sports channels. While the particular circumstances of the Cablevision/Yankees fight make it difficult to extrapolate an industrywide effect from the dispute, the apparent decision hurts one strategy that is occasionally proposed as a way to control cable prices: dividing cable programming into small, a la carte "tiers" for customers to pick and choose from. "The idea of tiering is not lost forever," says Schwab SoundView media analyst Jordan Rohan. "But one might conclude this is a short-term blow to the idea of tiering." Another media analyst points to the reported arbitration decision as another example of the game of chicken played by cable TV or satellite system operators on the one hand, and programmers on the other. So far, no distributor has refused to carry a major channel because it's too expensive, says the buy-side analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They haven't collided yet. There have been close calls," says the analyst. The Cablevision-YES conflict has been "another one of these close brushes," he says. "There's no question it shows the value of sports programming."