49%. That is the percentage that News Corp. owns of the YES Network and that number could be up to 80% in three years. This story struck me in an odd way. I am a huge Yankees fan and hearing this news kind of scared me. I know what News Corp. has done with Fox News, a cable news channel, so I hope they don’t have any ideas like that with YES, but I have my doubts.
If there is a way for them to get more money out of this channel, they will do it, even if it compromises it’s natural bias. Yes, it’s coverage leans pro-Yankees, the station’s main product is the New York Yankees, but there are certainly times when it criticizes them as well and there are no apologies afterwards. But, what if those criticisms went away? Or only came out on a rare occasion? That would not be good for the credibility of the network, but it could drive up ratings, which is all that counts right?
Also to note, News Corp. owns a few New York papers, like the New York Post and the Bronx Times-Reporter, a community newspaper. So, if News Corp. owns 80% of YES in a couple of years and drives this cable channel into the direction they drove Fox News, which leans heavily into a direction to drive ratings, then their newspaper products may be affected. They might not want to publish and bad or negative stories about the Yankees, as they now would have a lot invested in the Yankees’ tv network. Why run a negative story that could affect the bottom line, when there is also a positive story that could be run? Or what if they start telling only one side of the story? They would still sell papers and their tv product, the Yankees, would keep their clean image.
Perhaps I am over-thinking this and getting way ahead of myself and everything will be just fine, but only time will tell. In the meantime, go Yankees!