Negotiations between the New York Yankees and Madison Square Garden over a new contract for exclusive rights to Yankees’ games are headed for the bargaining table instead of the courts.
Monday was the deadline for MSG to give its response to the latest Yankee demand of a staggering $2.5 billion for a new 10-year contract. MSG and the Yankees agreed to postpone the deadline, and a statement issued by MSG said the two parties have begun conversations to try to work out a deal.
The clock is ticking because the current deal ($493.5 million over 12 years) expires at the end of this season. The Yankees have drawn up a blueprint for a new regional sports network anchored by the Yankees and pro basketball’s New Jersey Nets. The Yankees own the Nets, and their corporation is called YankeeNets.
MSG won a previous lawsuit this summer that prevented the Yankees from joining with the International Management Group to create a new sports network, the court arguing that the Yankees violated MSG’s right of first refusal.