In a move that puts News Corp. on a
path to majority ownership in perhaps the most valuable regional sports network (RSN) in the country, the company has a deal that could eventually give it an 80% position in the YES Network. When the
deal closes, News Corp. will start with a 49% stake in the network that carries New York Yankees games.
Based on a $3 billion valuation reported by The New York Times, that would be worth about $1.5 billion.
Current owners, which includes an entity linked with the Yankees and Goldman Sachs, will reduce their stakes as part of the deal.
News Corp. will be able to bundle the property with other RSNs, mostly under a Fox Sports banner. News Corp.-owned rep firm Home Team Sports has been selling some advertising for YES.
The YES Network also announced that its rights deal with the Yankees has been extended to 2042. The network carries Brooklyn Nets games, too.
News Corp. could move to the 80% stake in three years; the Yankees’ entity would continue with a minority stake.
YES CEO Tracy Dolgin and other senior executives previously worked at Fox. The 10-year-old network has distribution in about 9 million homes in the greater New York area.