21st Century Fox has increased their stake in the YES Network from 49% to 80%, according to a press release issued on Friday. The Yankees still have a 20% stake in the network, but Fox has now moved into the position of holding a majority of the company's ownership as opposed to a plurality.

The initial details of the purchase gave News Corp (which later transferred the ownership to 21st Century Fox) the option to purchase up to an 80% share of the network three years after the initial sale (which took place in late 2012), but clearly, the option was exercised sooner. 

The Yankees are expected to receive much more money in rights fees after the sale, and baseball business guru Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs predicts that they'll be up to over $150 million per year, making their offseason spending spree that much more palatable.

Essentially, the Yankees will be getting more money annually in exchange for less long-term investment income. The expanded sale was expected, and this isn't much of a surprise – but it'll be interesting how this ends up working out with Fox Sports 1's expanded baseball slate in 2014. If you recall, Fox's new national deal with MLB allows them to air more games of teams whose rights belong to Fox-owned RSNs – which the Yankees clearly fit into.

[WSJ]

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.