SBD/January 27, 2014/Media

Fox To Take 80% Stake in YES Network, Not Expected To Rebrand RSN

Fox on Friday said that it was "taking a majority stake" in YES Network -- "a little more than a year after Fox first invested" in the RSN, according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. Fox said that it would "increase its stake to 80%, up from the 49% interest it bought" in '12. Fox declined to say "how much it was paying for its increased interest," but it paid $584M for the 49% stake in '12. Fox had "long planned to own a majority stake in the channel, but it increased its holdings more rapidly than initially envisioned." One of the next things on YES Network's to-do list is to "negotiate a new carriage contract with Time Warner Cable." Fox also announced that YES President & CEO Tracy Dolgin "will remain in his role" (L.A. TIMES, 1/25). On Long Island, Neil Best cited a source as saying Fox is "not expected to rebrand the channel." The Yankees, in addition to the money they made in selling part of the net in '12, will "receive a windfall from Fox in the form of payments that will extend the channel's rights to carry Yankees games" to '42 (NEWSDAY, 1/25). VARIETY's Brian Steinberg noted the deal will "bolster" Fox's regional sports holdings, as it "already operates 22" RSNs in the U.S. (VARIETY.com, 1/24).
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