Yankees May Partner with Amazon and Sinclair to Buy YES Network
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the New York Yankees are in talks to partner with retail giant, Amazon, and telecommunications conglomerate, Sinclair Broadcast Group, to buy the YES Network from Disney.
Disney acquired the channel, which airs New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games, as part of their acquisition of Fox earlier this year. The Yankees sold 80% of the network to Fox in 2012 and 2014, valuing the network at $3B — but has shown interest in buying back their stake.
Even if Amazon was to partner on the purchase of the network, they wouldn’t be able to stream games nationally right away. MLB places restrictions on teams, allowing local broadcasts to only air in certain markets. They would also likely face blowback from local distributors like Charter and Comcast, who pay a hefty fee to carry the channel.
Disney is also in the process of divesting Fox’s other 21 Regional Sports Networks, who has seen suitors like Apollo Global Management, KKR, and The Blackstone Group, broadcasting giants like TEGNA and Sinclair, and even Major League Baseball.