While Prime Ticket continues its exclusive negotiations to
retain media rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers, News Corp. has set its sights
on connecting with another regional sports network on the East Coast: the YES
News Corp. is said to be nearing a deal that would give it a
large minority stake in YES, the cable home to the New York Yankees and the
NBA's Brooklyn Nets, with an eye toward increasing the regional sports network's
affiliate fees structure.
to published reports, News Corp. within the next couple of days could
acquire as much as 40% of YES by purchasing stakes from longtime investors
Goldman Sachs Group and Providence Equity Partners that would value the RSN at
some $3 billion. Those investment firms, along with Yankee Global Enterprises,
the MLB team's holding company, are the principal holders in YES, which has
consistently ranked at or near the top of RSNs when it comes to primetime
ratings, driven by its Bronx Bombers' telecasts.
Sources familiar with the negotiations indicate that after
the deal Goldman and Providence would retain smaller stakes in YES. Yankees
Global Enterprises holds a 34% in the RSN.