It’s Official: News Corp Buys 49% Of YES Network

YES Network has local media rights to the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets and becomes the newest regional sports network for News Corp. The network commands almost $3 per subscriber per month in fees, according to SNL Kagan, making it among the most lucrative RSNs in the country. (Time Warner Cable’s new LA channels that carry the LA Lakers get a reported $3.95 per sub per month.) The News Corp-YES deal means current owners Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs and others will reduce their stake, and News Corp has the option to acquire an additional stake after three years that could give it up to 80% of the network. No other deal terms were announced, but the acquisition is reportedly valued at $3 billion — lower than the $4 billion sellers had suggested. Here’s this morning’s release:

Related: Is Rupert Murdoch’s YES Network Deal A Bet That The Cable Bundle Will Stay Intact?

NEW YORK – November 19, 2012 – News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and Yankee Global Enterprises today announced an agreement that calls for News Corporation to acquire a 49 percent equity stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES). The YES Network delivers exclusive live local television coverage of New York Yankees baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball, as well as other leading local and national sports-related programming. The YES Network also announced a media rights agreement that will keep Yankees baseball on the YES Network through 2042.

The media rights agreement is subject to Major League Baseball approval. The investment is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. (more…)

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