Sources: News Corp. Close To Acquiring Stake In YES, Adding to RSN Portfolio
News Corp. is "closing in on a deal to buy a minority stake" in the YES Network, according to sources cited by Matthew Futterman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. One source said that a deal "may be announced in the coming days" that values the Yankees' RSN at roughly $3B. News Corp. is "said [to] have its sights on nearly 40% of the network, seeking to buy most, if not all, of the stakes owned by longtime investors Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Providence Equity Partners" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/15).
PILING ON: In L.A., Flint & James cite sources as saying that talks between News Corp. and the Yankees "have been going on for several weeks." News Corp. getting a stake in YES would "give it a big presence in the nation's No. 1 media market, where it currently has no sports outlets." The media conglomerate "already owns 20 regional sports networks, including two" in L.A. The company also is in the process of "starting a national cable sports network" to challenge ESPN. In addition, News Corp. owns "about 13%" of the Rockies (L.A. TIMES, 11/15). In N.Y., Chozick & Cieply wrote YES Network would "add significant heft" to News Corp.'s "already large portfolio of regional sports assets and fits into the company's strategy of building its sports television business" (NYTIMES.com, 11/14).