The New York Times Company blamed the bad economy as the reason why it is putting up the 17.75 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures LLC. New England Sports Ventures LLC is owner of the Red Sox baseball franchise, Fenway Park, as well as an 80 percent stake in New England Sports Network (NESN), which is the regional sports channel in the Boston area that also televises the Boston Bruins NHL hockey team.
In 2002, the New York Times Company acquired their share in the Red Sox sports franchise for $75 million in an attempt to diversify its holdings. But in light of the tough economic times, and competition from the Internet and cable tv, it decided to put its share up for sale. It has been reported that the company is hoping to make a 400% profit from the sale over its initial investment.