The Walt Disney Company is reportedly nearing a deal to sell back the YES Network to a group that includes the New York Yankees, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The YES Network, the television home of the New York Yankees, is one of the 22 regional sports networks that Disney is required to sell as part of its acquisition of Fox.
- YES is considered to be the “crown jewel” of those sports networks.
- Along with the Yankees, the potential purchasing group consists of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Amazon.
- The potential deal would value the sports network at roughly $3.5 billion.
- The Yankees currently own 20% of the YES Network while Disney would be selling the remaining 80%.
- When Fox purchased that 80% in 2014, the YES Network was valued at $3.9 billion.
- Disney was reportedly looking for bids in the range of $5 billion to $6 billion for the network, but interested parties have been set on a much lower number.
- Back in June of 2018 the U.S. Department of Justice determined that Disney could acquire 21st Century Fox assets, but that they had to unload the 22 regional sports networks.
- Last month, potential buyers began to pop up.
- According to people familiar with the sale process, companies that have previously expressed interest include:
- Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
- Apollo Global Management
- Major League Baseball
- Disney is expected to close on its acquisition of Fox in the coming weeks.