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Disney Sells Stake in YES Network to Amazon

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Disney Sells Stake in YES Network to Amazon

Yesterday, Disney announced that it was selling its stake in the YES Network to an investor group that includes Amazon. The total enterprise value of the take is $3.47 billion, making it quite a notable business deal. 

The investor group also includes Sinclar Broadcast Group and the Yankees, who acquired 80% of the stake not already held by the Yankees. 

In the deal, Disney agreed to sell 22 regional sports networks owned by 21st Century Fox. The Department of Justice required Disney to sell the YES Network as a part of the deal. 

In a press release, the investor group stated, “The new strategic partnership leverages the expertise and market reach of three highly successful companies – Yankee Global Enterprises, one of the world’s leading sports brands; Sinclair Broadcast Group, a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news; and Amazon, the innovative, multinational technology company. The three companies will work together to enhance the network and position it strategically to continue its leadership in sports broadcasting across all forms of distribution. Jon Litner will remain in his existing role as President of the YES Network.”

Though Sinclar said it would buy 21 regional sports networks in May, it also stated that the 80 percent stake in the YES Network would be sold separately. Yankee Global Enterprises already holds a 20 percent stake in YES. 

Of the deal, Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclar stated, “We are excited about partnering with such a renowned franchise as the New York Yankees…With this investment, we will have 23 RSN brands, including Marquee with the iconic Chicago Cubs, and 21 RSN brands acquired from the Walt Disney Company last week.”

YES is our nation’s most-watched regional sports network, additionally owning local TV rights for Major League Soccer’s New York City FC and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

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