News Corp to buy 40% of YES Network

Media giant News Corp is reported to be buying a 40 percent stake in the YES Network, a regional group of stations partly owned by the New York Yankees baseball team.

The deal means an increase in the cost of cable, and “prove[s] once again how the price of live sports will keep going up in the age of cord-cutting,” paidContent reported today. The network is the Yankee’s game provider for about 15 million homes in the northeastern part of the United States.

YES stands for Yankees Entertainment and Sports. It was founded in 2002 by former cable executives Leo Hindery and Amos Hostetter and is estimated to be worth about US$3 billion.

“COO Chase Carey talks a lot about sports as tremendously valuable in a fragmented media world where live viewing is on the wane. While he dismisses rumors that News Corp. wants to go up against giant ESPN, Fox Sports is big and he’d like it to keep it growing,” the Chicago Tribune explained.

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