Yankees sign 30-year rights deal with YES Network
News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) said it struck a deal with the New York Yankees which may allow the media giant to secure an 80 percent stake in YES Network within three years.
Under terms of the deal announced Tuesday, News Corp. acquired a 49 percent stake in YES from Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs and other investors who agreed to reduce their shares. To sweeten the deal, the Yankees assured News Corp. that YES Network would remain the home for its baseball games until 2042.
News Corp. will have the right to increase its stake in YES to 80 percent in three years, "at which time Yankee Global Enterprises would retain a significant minority stake in the network," according to a statement released by News Corp. and the Yankees.
The deal will give News Corp.'s Fox Sports Media Group control of the nation's most valuable regional sports network. While the companies didn't disclose the terms, the deal reportedly values YES Network at $3.4 billion.
YES CEO Tracy Dolgin, who is a former Fox executive, cheered the deal. YES COO Ray Hopkins and John Filippelli, its president of production and programming, also worked previously for Fox. "We are eager to renew our working relationships with the company and with many of our friends and former colleagues. At the same time, we are fortunate to continue to benefit from the vision and support of our current ownership," Dolgin said in a statement.