Keep in mind that Disney once owned the California Angels/Anaheim Angels/Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim baseball team starting in 1995. They sold the team to current owner Arte Moreno in 2003.
It was around the same time that they owned the Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim?Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team.
This was during the Michael Eisner era which ran from 1984-2004. Under Robert Iger (2004-present), Disney has gotten out of the sports team business.
The media holdings they currently hold are ABC-TV (broadcasting and cable channels) , ESPN (TV), a few O+O ESPN stations and Radio Disney.
I don't think they'd be getting back into sports ownership. I don't see Disney shelling out $2 billion or so (see latest L.A. Dodgers sale) to own the Yankees just to have broadcasting rights.
I see the comparison being similar to Cablevision's ownership of the Knicks and Rangers and Madison Square Garden and the associated cable networks (MSG, MSG+), thereby bypassing paying those teams for the rights to telecast their games.
On the reverse angle, would the Yankees ever want to own (or partially own) a radio station in much the same arrangement as the YES regional cable network? Likely not, as there'd never be enough programming to fill around the times the Yanks aren't playing. While the Yanks can use YES as a promotional vehicle for the team, the same thought doesn't translate well to radio year-round.
And as long as there are suitors such as CBS Radio willing to throw millions at them for radio rights, why change anything?
1.) A year ago there was talk of moving Spring Training to Disneyworld in Orlando, it would assume Minor and Instructional League would follow. Disney wants to be a one stop fits all for vacationers.
2.) There is only a one year deal with WCBS - that might be enough time in which to complete the deal, but not too much time for a broadcasting relationship to be too uncomfortable for both as the broadcast would then be competing against 98.7 during the game if the deal were to be consumated during the life of the existing contract. CBS would surely go for the throat if Disney were to break the contract early.
3.) Rumor has it, Hal, Hank, or both are not as excited about the Yankees as they once were during the George era. They may be willing to relinquish their position to a minority interest. Disney would be one of the few able to pull off the deal as a result of value of the Yankees.
4.) The Yankees are not doing anything to build for the future. The recent signing of Ichiro is proof of that.
5.) As for Legends Field in Tampa, it would be the logical place to put the new Rays Stadium, since it is directly across the street from the North Parking Lot to Raymond James Stadium. Fans with tickets to both could go from one game to the other and not have to move the car.
Of course, any of this may have another variable that none of us aware of, but that is what I'm seeing, now.
Jeff in Sa-ra-so-ta!