- Disney’s Yes Network acquired by investor group for $3.47 billion
- Amazon and Sinclair Broadcast Group among investors
- The deal aims to drive a “new strategic partnership”
Amazon, Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Yankees are among the companies to make up the investor group which has bought Disney’s Yes Network.
The group has acquired the 80% stake of the Yes Network that was not already owned by the Yankees with the total enterprise valued at $3.47 billion.
The Yes Network airs Yankee games, as well as other local sports and speciality content, was required to be sold as part of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets.
The US Department of Justice approved the transaction and in a statement to the press, the group said the Yankees, Sinclair and Amazon will make up a “new strategic partnership.”
It did not specify Amazon’s role in the partnership, but said the Yankees “will contribute its excellence in developing, producing and marketing sports content that is compelling for fans globally,” and Sinclair “will work with the Yes team management to manage traditional and virtual distribution relationships.”
Yankee Global Enterprises chief executive Hal Steinbrenner said: “This transaction brings the Yes Network and all of its popular programming even closer to the organisation that inspired its very development.
“Along with our partners, we look forward to greatly expanding the way that sports content is delivered and consumed by fans everywhere.”
The Yes Network president Jon Litner will remain in his current role, according to the release.
Sinclair Broadcast Group president and chief executive Chris Ripley said: “There are very few sports brands in the world as great as the New York Yankees that offer impressive reach and recognition.
“We look forward to working with our partners to develop and deliver top-notch play action and sports programming for the fans.”
Earlier this week Sinclair Broadcast Group completed the acquisition of the equity interest in 21 Regional Sports Networks and Fox College Sports from The Walt Disney Company.
The transaction and total enterprise value of the Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) were valued at $9.6 billion after months of negotiating and transferring the assets previously owned by Fox.
The acquisition was approved by the US Department of Justice and was a stipulation to push through Disney’s $71.3 billion purchase of film and television properties from 21st Century Fox, which included the RSNs.