The New York Yankees are looking for partners to help the team acquire the rest of its namesake network, according to a new report.
The Yankees are in talks with Amazon and Sinclair Broadcasting about forming a joint venture to acquire YES Network, The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the plans.
The Yankees currently own 20% of the regional sports network. As part of its deal with the government to acquire 21st Century Fox, which owns the remaining 80% of the YES Network, Disney is forced to sell it. According to the Journal, Disney is seeking between $5 billion and $6 billion in the deal.
YES Network is one of the most popular cable sports networks in the country. It airs most of the games played by the Yankees and the Brooklyn Nets, along with original programming and classic Yankees games. It’s a regional network, however, so it doesn’t have the reach of competing networks like ESPN.
But a deal between the Yankees, Amazon, and Sinclair is far from a sure thing. Amazon, especially, has shown a clear desire to expand its presence in sports. The company’s Prime Video service, for instance, streamed Thursday Night National Football League games this year.
According to the Journal, Sinclair is interested in acquiring 21 regional sports channels Fox owns in other markets, as well. Whether that would make the company more or less willing to spend so much on YES Network in a deal with the Yankees is unknown.