News Corp Secures 49% Stake in YES Network, YES to Broadcast Yankees Games Until 2042

By Community | November 21, 2012

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has acquired a 49% stake in the YES Network, which features live television coverage of the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Nets.

The YES Network’s current owners, which include Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and others investors, will reduce their stake. As part of the deal, News Corp (NWSA, Fortune 500) has the option to increase its ownership to 80% in 2015. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but a source close to the deal said it valued the YES Network at $3 billion.

“Partnering upstream with rights holders is even more important today in the dynamic media marketplace in which we compete,” said James Murdoch, News Corp’s deputy chief operating officer, in a statement. He said News Corp is “strategically re-entering the New York market” with this deal.

The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, which reaches 9 million households in the New York area, also announced that it had secured a media rights agreement that will keep Yankees baseball on its station through 2042. The agreement is subject to Major League Baseball approval. News Corp already owns a broadcast sports division, the Fox Sports Media Group, which operates 20 regional sports networks in the United States.