The New York Yankees have reached an agreement to buy back the YES Network, the team’s own regional sports network, with Amazon’s help, according to multiple reports.
According to the Associated Press, the deal is for $3.47 billion and will give Amazon the rights to stream Yankees games within the team’s regional territory that encompasses New York, and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. Along with Amazon, Yankee Global Enterprises partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group on the purchase, which is for an 80 percent stake.
Reps for Amazon, Sinclair and the Yankees did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The agreement means that Disney has sold one of the 22 regional sports networks it’s gaining from Fox as part of its $71.3 billion acquisition of film and TV assets. As part of its approval from the Department of Justice, Disney has 90 days after the close of the deal to divest the regional sports networks. During Thursday’s annual shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the deal is expected to close “soon.”
Back in 2012, Yankee Global Enterprises sold a 49 percent stake to News Corp — before it spun off 21st Century Fox — who then upped their stake to 80 percent in 2014.
Disney still has to find buyers for the other 21 regional sports networks, with Major League Baseball, TEGNA and a slew of private equity firms among the known interested buyers. The 21 regional sports networks collectively hold local TV rights for 42 professional sports teams across the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball, in markets including Detroit, Southern California, Dallas, Cleveland and Miami.