Nov 15 News Corp is expected to
announce this week that it has taken a minority stake in the YES
Network, a New York-based sports channel that broadcasts Yankee
baseball and Nets basketball games. The deal could be announced
as early as Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the
The deal would expand News Corp's network of 13 Fox regional
sports channels and four other channels in which it is
affiliated. Those channels have 67 million subscribers in Los
Angeles, Houston and other cities.
The YES network is available in approximately 15 million
News Corp will buy portions of the stakes held by Goldman
Sachs and Providence Equity Partners, which are expected
to maintain positions, the source said.
The Yankees would maintain a 34 percent stake through parent
company Yankees Global Enterprises, according to the Wall Street
Journal, which first reported the pending transaction.
The price of the deal was not disclosed, although YES is
valued at about $3 billion, according to the source.
A Fox spokeswoman could not be immediately located. A YES
spokesperson was not available.
The deal would allow YES to raise the $2.99 monthly fee per
subscriber it currently charges cable and satellite operators to
carry the channel, said the person. News Corp could negotiate on
its behalf with the operators as part of a larger package of
At the outset, the Fox sports channels are not expected to
provide local or national sports programming to YES.
News Corp is also not expected to take a management role.
James Murdoch, News Corp Chief Executive Officer Rupert
Murdoch's younger son, had a role in negotiating the deal. The
younger Murdoch sits on the Yankee Global Enterprises board and
increasingly is taking management responsibility for the
company's non-news cable channels, Fox broadcast network and
other TV assets.