(By Balachander) News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA), which owns Fox, has agreed to acquire a 49 percent equity stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES).
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, current owners Yankee Global Enterprises, Goldman Sachs (GS) and other investors will reduce their ownership in connection with the deal.
News Corp. may acquire an additional stake after three years in the YES Network that could bring its ownership to 80 percent. Yankee Global Enterprises would retain a significant minority stake in the network.
In addition, the YES Network announced a media rights agreement that will keep Yankees baseball on the YES Network through 2042.
The YES Network delivers exclusive live local television coverage of New York Yankees baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball, as well as other leading local and national sports-related programming.
The network showcases live Yankees and Nets games to roughly 9 million households in the teams' television territory in the New York area.
"The Steinbrenner family expects to have a continuing, long-term ownership stake in the YES Network and we will continue our yearly commitment of fielding a championship caliber team for decades to come," commented Hal Steinbrenner, chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises.
As of September 30, 2012, News Corp. had total assets of around $60 billion and total annual revenue of about $34 billion.
On Tuesday, NWS shares inched up 0.33 percent to trade at $24.53. NWSA shares added 0.21 percent.