21st Century Fox to Acquire Majority Stake in YES Network

The media giant will own 80 percent of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network by the end of the first calendar quarter

Attention New York Yankees fans: 21st Century Fox has an agreement in place to acquire a majority stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network — commonly known as the YES Network.

The company will raise its ownership position in the regional sports network from 49 percent to 80 percent. 21st Century Fox acquired its previous ownership stake in 2012. As a result of the acquisition, the YES Network will become a consolidated entity of 21st Century Fox.

The remaining 20 percent stake will continue to be held by Yankee Global Enterprises.

Also read: Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s Compensation Jumped 11% in 2013

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first calendar quarter, subject to regulatory and other requisite approvals. Following the acquisition, Tracy Dolgin, president and chief executive officer of the YES network, will remain in his role, the companies said.

Since its inception in 2002, the YES Network has grown to include local availability in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania, as well as national availability on several cable and satellite television distributors. The network currently exclusively carries the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games, reaching approximately 9 million households in the New York area.

Outside of the New York area, the YES Network also distributes a variety of national programming to millions of homes across the country.

Also read: 21st Century Fox Chief Human Resources Officer Steps Down

“Our investment in the YES Network underscores our commitment to growing our global sports portfolio with offerings that are exceptional and unique,” said James Murdoch, deputy chief operating officer, 21st Century Fox. “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Yankee Global Enterprises and to working with the network’s management team to build on the YES Network’s success.”

Fox Sports Media Group is the nation’s leader in local regional sports programming, operating a leading array of 22 owned-and-operated U.S. regional sports networks, which collectively produce over 5,000 live local events each year and serve as the local TV homes to more than half of all MLB, NHL, and NBA teams.