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Rupert Murdoch-led Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA - Analyst Report) entered into a deal to increase its stake to 80% in Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES). The company already holds 49% stake in YES that it acquired in Nov 2012. The market seemed more or less unperturbed as reflected in the stock price, which dipped marginally to close at $31.05.

YES is a regional sports network that broadcasts live coverage of New York Yankees baseball, Brooklyn Nets basketball and other sports events across New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania.

The deal is likely to be sealed by the end of March this year, subject to regulatory and requisite approval. However, the terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

Following the acquisition, YES  will become a consolidated entity of Twenty-First Century Fox but the remaining 20% stake will be owned by Yankee Global Enterprises. Moreover, post the acquisition, the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the YES, Tracy Dolgin will continue with his services.

Twenty-First Century Fox is focusing on enhancing its portfolio of regional sports channels to strengthen Fox Sports Media Group’s position in the lucrative sports entertainment business, where it competes with The Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS - Analyst Report) ESPN as well as CBS Corp’s (CBS - Analyst Report) CBS Sports Network among others. The majority stake buyout in YES will bolster its position the regional market.

Already, the company boasts a well-recognized regional sports network, FSN (Fox Sports Net, Inc). The launch of Fox Sports 1 that took place in Aug 2013 will likely enable the company to emerge as a strong competitor in the world sports market.

Earlier, the company had acquired 51% stake in Eredivisie Media & Marketing. It also purchased 50% stake in ESPN STAR Sports and changed the latter’s name to Fox Star Sports Asia in Nov 2012. Further, in Dec 2012, it acquired regional sports network, Sports Time Ohio.

Currently, Twenty-First Century Fox carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked media stock is DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (DWA - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy).

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