The New York Yankees is in talks to partner with Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) to bid for the Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) YES network, the team's regional sports network, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Disney's sale of the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network LLC and other regional sports networks are mandatory after the U.S. Justice Department approved the company's massive $71.3 billion cash purchase of 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOX) assets over the summer on condition that Disney divest from such assets.
Disney shares are trading up 0.35% at $106.90 as of 11 a.m.
The Yankees already own 20% of YES and have priority to acquire the remaining 80%. Disney is seeking a valuation of $5 billion to $6 billion, according to the Journal.
Talks of Yankees' purchase are still in early stages. The team also approached cable operator Altice USA (ATUS) and a partnership with Amazon or Sinclair isn't guaranteed, the Journal said, citing sources.
Sinclair is ahead in its pursuit of Fox's regional sports networks. Fox Business Network reported earlier this month that Sinclair is the leading bidder for all 21 of Fox's regional sports networks currently under auction.
Sinclair, one of the largest television broadcasting companies in the country, which owns 191 local television stations, is interested in expending further into local networks through local sports. It's working with private-equity firm Blackstone Group on a bid to submit to Disney, the Journal reports.
Amazon already streams live NFL games on Thursday nights on its Prime membership platform and a stake in YES would expand the e-commerce giant's footprint in the sports business. The company has talked in the past with other leagues about other partnerships to provide more sports content.
Disney won the bidding war with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) over 21st Century Fox's assets, which gave it a leg up in a changing media landscape. Comcast dropped the bid for Fox to focus on expanding internationally, acquiring 61% of European broadcaster Sky Plc. Both 21st Century Fox and Sky were majority-owned by Rupert Murdoch.