Amazon Snares Piece of the YES Network From Disney
NEW YORK -- Yankee Global Enterprises, with strategic partners Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced the purchase of the YES Network (“YES”) from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), acquiring the 80 percent of the YES Network not already held by Yankee Global Enterprises at a total enterprise value of $3.47 billion. Additional equity investments were provided by RedBird Capital, funds managed by Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities business, and Mubadala Capital.
The YES Network is the country’s most-watched regional sports network (RSN), broadcasting games, programs and specialty content for the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets, Major League Soccer’s New York City FC, and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Since its launch in 2002, the YES Network has earned 118 Emmy Awards and has consistently been ranked as one of the most valuable sports business brands in the world. In addition to televising 128 regular season Yankees games per season, the YES Network also airs pre-and postgame shows; Yankeeography, the Emmy award-winning biography series on past and present Yankees greats; and Yankees Magazine, the weekly magazine show consisting of Yankees highlights, player profiles, behind-the-scenes features and interviews.
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.
Yankee Global Enterprises will contribute its excellence in developing, producing and marketing sports content that is compelling for fans globally. Sinclair, which is the owner of 22 RSN brands and the Tennis Channel, as well as the owner, operator, and service provider to 191 television stations in 89 markets, will work with the YES team management to manage traditional and virtual distribution relationships.
The partnership received equity investments from three leading financial investors: RedBird Capital, funds managed by Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities business, and Mubadala Capital.