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SBD/December 28, 2012/Media
Fox Sports Buys Cleveland-Based SportsTime Ohio; Signs Indians To Rights Deal
Published December 28, 2012
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YES NETWORK DEAL CLOSES: Fox' parent, News Corp., quietly closed its deal to buy 49% of YES Network early last week. The deal, which values the network at $3B, was announced last month but did not close officially until just before Christmas. Similar with the Indians' situation, both News Corp. and the Yankees wanted the deal to close in '12 because of various tax issues. As part of the deal, News Corp. has an option to increase its stake to 80% within three years. If News Corp. exercises that option, the network's valuation would climb to $3.8B. As part of the deal, YES Network will keep the Yankees' rights through '42.
PLAYING KEEP-AWAY FROM TWC: A source said Fox aggressively pursued these deals after Time Warner Cable picked up the Lakers rights and began negotiating with the Dodgers in L.A. Fox execs believe that the Lakers deal, in particular, re-set the RSN market. TWC is the dominant cable operator in N.Y. and Cleveland, the home markets of Fox' two most recent acquisitions.