News Corp says YES to the New York Yankees

Michelle Clancy | 20-11-2012

News Corp will soon announce a new foray into regional sports networks in the United States with a 49% stake in the New York Yankees-focused YES network, according to Reuters.

Citing "a person with knowledge of the talks," Reuters reported that New Corp is expected to spend about $3 billion on the deal, which would eventually give it control of the channel if it decides to exercise its option to increase its stake to 80% in three to five years.

YES shows Yankees baseball games and Brooklyn Nets basketball games, and is carried to 15 million subscribers in the New York Metro area. Right now, Yankee Global Enterprises, the ball club's parent company, owns 34% of YES. Goldman Sachs owns a 40% stake in tandem with Providence Equity, while the rest is owned by former owners of the Nets.

YES is planning to raise the $2.99 monthly fee per subscriber it currently charges cable and satellite operators for carriage fees, Reuters noted — a goal that fresh News Corp clout will help along.

For its part, News Corp has stakes in 20 regional sports networks already, reaching 67 million subscribers.