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The New York Times reported over the weekend that Amazon is negotiating to acquire a minority share in the YES Network, teaming up with the New York Yankees, which would become the majority shareholder in the regional sports network that televises the vast majority of its games.

The ownership of YES is in play, the story notes, because of Disney’s acquisition of most the assets of 21st Century Fox, which has been YES’s majority shareholder. Regulators approved the deal with one of the conditions being that Fox had to sell off its 22 regional sports networks. (Disney owns ESPN, which already makes it a major player in sports broadcasting.)

The Times writes that “for Amazon, owning a piece of YES could be a boon to its Prime program (which costs $119 a year), especially if that membership included access to those games. That, in turn, could add more revenue, as Prime members tend to buy more on Amazon than casual online shoppers.

“Amazon’s motivation becomes clearer when considering the fact that growth in the number of Amazon Prime members in the United States has slowed recently. It hit 97 million members last year, up from about 90 million in 2017, according to an estimate from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.”
KC's View:
I must admit that I take this personally. The Yankees are, much as I hate to admit it, a first-class organization that does most things right. (YES is a perfect example of that - it has helped fund contending teams and make the owners a lot of money almost from conception.) They don’t need Jeff Bezos.

Now, there’s a baseball team in Queens - not far from where he was originally planning to build HQ2 - that could use a little Bezos magic (and money). For Bezos to go to the Bronx and have a relationship with the Yankees just breaks my heart. That said .. this makes total sense. The Yankees have as much of a national fan base as any baseball team, and so making their games available for streaming to Prime members is a really good idea, illustrative of how Amazon continually tries to drive value to Prime members.