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News Corp. eyes Yes Network

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWSA) is close to announcing it will acquire a 49% stake in the YES Network from the New York Yankees baseball team and partners, according to published reports. The deal values the Yankees and Brooklyn Nets basketball broadcaster at $3 bil, and is structured to allow News Corp. to increase its stake to 80% in 3-5 years. Sources say News Corp. would package YES with other sports channels and negotiate higher fees than the $2.99 per-subscriber cable and satellite operators currently pay. Shares rose 2.9% to 23.97.