News Corp. is in negotiations with the New York Yankees to buy a minority stake in the team's YES cable network, positioning the media company to gain a larger footprint in the increasingly lucrative realm of sports programming.
Talks between News Corp. and the New York Yankees have been going on for several weeks, people with knowledge of the situation said. Under the terms being discussed, News Corp. would likely acquire the stakes in YES held by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and other owners. The YES Network has been valued at as much as $3 billion.
For News Corp., getting a piece of YES would give it a big presence in the nation's No. 1 media market, where it currently has no sports outlets. An agreement could be finalized as early as later this week. Financing the deal won't be an issue for News Corp., which has over $10 billion in cash.
A News Corp. spokeswoman declined comment.
News Corp. already owns 20 regional sports networks, including two in Los Angeles. The company is also in the process of starting a national cable sports network to challenge Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN. The tentative name for the national service is Fox Sports 1. It also owns about 13% of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.