Perhaps the half-billion shopping spree that Brian Cashman went on was not without coincidence.
It was reported on Friday that the Yankees have sold 80 percent of the ownership and control in the YES Network to 21st Century Fox. The Yankees retain control of the other 20 percent, but the network is now considered mostly a part of 21st Century Fox. Up until yesterday, the Yankees still had majority control of the network with 51%. Fox had the other 49% purchased in December 2012 for the sum of $584 million.
The YES Network was launched in 2002 and is the exclusive local sports network for the Yankees and NBA Franchise Brooklyn Nets. The move is being publicized as a way for the network and Fox to build off of each other, according to a statement by Hal Steinbrenner.
We are gratified that 21st Century Fox has increased their stake and investment in the network. Yankee Global Enterprises is eager to continue working with 21st Century Fox as we explore ways to take YES to even greater heights.
It cannot be ignored that the Yankees, this off season alone, have committed $465 million dollars to free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Matt Thornton, and, most recently, Masahiro Tanaka. The Hot Stove season still has a month to go.