News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) is expected to buy a 40 percent in YES Network, the nation's most valuable regional sports network, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The deal, which may be announced as early as Friday, could give News Corp. more leverage to strike carriage deals with cable operators and satellite TV providers that want to offer national cable networks such as FX and local Fox-owned-and-operated TV stations to subscribers. News Corp. has been striking broad distribution deals with affiliates that include retransmission-consent for broadcast stations and rights to carry national and regional networks.
News Corp. will likely buy stakes in YES Network that are owned by Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs Group, according to WSJ. The deal values YES at $3 billion.
The deal could reunite some top YES Network executives with their previous employer. YES CEO Tracy Dolgin is a former Fox Broadcasting EVP, and YES COO Ray Hopkins is a former SVP of affiliate sales and marketing for Fox Cable Networks.
Q&A with YES Network COO Ray Hopkins
News Corp. doubles Fox retransmission-consent revenue