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Yankees’ Value Surges to $2.3 Billion on YES Deal, Forbes Says

The New York Yankees’ value surged 24 percent to $2.3 billion in 2012, making it the most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball for a 16th straight year, Forbes magazine said in its annual survey of the sport.

Forbes’ valuation of the Yankees rose after News Corp.’s Fox unit signed a rights fee agreement with the club as part of a deal to buy 49 percent of YES Network. Under the contract, the Yankees will receive $85 million this year, while the annual payment will rise to $350 million in 2042, the report said.

The Yankees had operating income of $1.4 million in 2012 from revenue of $471 million, Forbes said.

The value of the average team climbed by 23 percent, the most since Forbes began the survey in 1998, to $744 million. Revenue rose 7 percent to $227 million on average, while operating income dropped 9 percent to $13.1 million on average on higher player costs and stadium expenses.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are second on the list with a value of $1.62 billion, followed by the Boston Red Sox at $1.3 billion, the Chicago Cubs at $1 billion and the Philadelphia Phillies at $893 million.

The New York Mets, with revenue at $232 million and an operating loss of $2.4 million, were sixth on the list of 30 teams with a valuation of $811 million, 13 percent more than a year ago.

The five teams with the lowest valuations are the Tampa Bay Rays at $451 million, the Kansas City Royals at $457 million, the Oakland Athletics at $468 million, the Pittsburgh Pirates at $479 million and the Miami Marlins at $520 million.

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