News Corp’s impending purchase of up to a 49% stake in the New York Yankees’ YES Network values the regional sports service at $3 billion, the New York Times reports. That’s lower than the $4 billion sellers had suggested YES was worth. News Corp prefers 100% ownership of its regional networks but even a minority stake in YES would be lucrative. YES is the most valuable of the regional sports networks, and the Times said the deal would include a route for News Corp to gain control of YES within 3 to 5 years but at a higher network valuation of $3.5 billion. The price for a stake in YES further illustrates the soaring figures paid for sports. The Yankees own 34% of YES; another 40% is owned by Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity, and the remainder is held by former owners of the Nets through an entity known as Community Youth Organization. The Yankees and News Corp have a family connection, the Times noted. The late George Steinbrenner and Rupert Murdoch were friendly and James Murdoch sits on the board of the team’s holding company Yankee Global Enterprises. YES also televises Nets basketball games.
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