SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) _ A sports and entertainment company started by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz has agreed to buy the operating rights to the New York-New Jersey MetroStars.

The purchase gives Anschutz Entertainment Group control of five of Major League Soccer's 12 teams. The MetroStars currently are operated by Metromedia Co. executives John Kluge and Stuart Subotnick.

The 6-year-old league owns all of its teams, and investors pay for the rights to operate them and cover local expenses.

Anschutz, the 16th-richest person in the United States according to Forbes magazine, was among the six original operators who paid $5 million each to form the league.

The other four MLS teams owned by AEG are the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids and D.C. United. Company holdings also include the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and shares of the Los Angeles Lakers and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.