Read Part 2 Here.
Discussing MLB TV Deals
mlbtraderumors.com ran a blog post today, that quoted Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports saying the Cardinals, with a new TV deal looming in the not too distant future may be able to afford TWO marquee free agents.
David Price and Jason Heyward. Or Price and Davis. Or Davis and Zobrist. Or who the hell really knows. But this got me thinking, how do TV deals look across the MLB.
Obviously the big market monsters like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Cubs should reign supreme but I thought it was something worth looking into, and these are my findings (and a little harder to find than I though it would.)
First let me begin by saying a lot of this info has come from FORBES,which I won’t even link to because the website is so inundated with pop up ads that it was almost as infuriating as sitting in traffic behind one of those trucks you can’t see beyond but the majority of information from smaller market teams has come from a fantastic Wendy Thurm article at Fangraphs.com.
In honor of the Christmas Season, and my current reading diet we will bunch these groups of teams up by comparing them to a Charles Dickens character.
30) Oakland A’s
29) Atlanta Braves.
Two teams sit at the bottom of the proverbial financial barrel. Their television deals, where very little has been made public, seem to be absolute travesties amongst baseball insiders. No figure is bandied about but based on implications from Thurm the deals may not even eclipse the 8 figure mark. These shitty television deals are not deals that not only create destitution but also cripple the poor franchises.
Of course, no one watches the A’s. It’s rumored Billy Bean gets NESN broadcast to his office and wonders “what if?”
Hilariously, before the Turner Media Group sold the Braves in 2007, they negotiated (with themselves?) a seriously below market TV deal for the next 25 years that is seriously hampering the Atlanta Braves ability to be competitive in the NL East. This might imply how Ted Turner became a billionaire…it wasn’t by being sentimental.
28) St. Louis Cardinals.
Imagine that. On a St. Louis Cardinals blog, the blogger finds a redemptive selfless, alcoholic revolutionary with which to compare his team. Like Carton, it seems the Cardinals do most of the heavy lifting within the NL Central, but every couple of years another franchise swoops in to take all of the credit, and win three major awards in one season, when two of those said awards may have been undeserved*.
Anyways, the Cardinals deal expires in 2017 (thank God). They are paid around 14 million dollars a year. Hopefully, they will find a way to negotiate a deal similar to that of the Phillies. I know due to the small market size they won’t approach the 5 billion figure, but it would be nice if they were able to find a way to massage a little profit sharing into the deal. The Phillies also retain rights to split profits on games that are broadcast online. With the large Cardinals fanbase outside of the direct St. Louis region this could be a rapidly growing segment.
Rumors of 50 million or so a year abound, which seems to be about the going rate now. Even the Padres, who are a tiny little TV market and consistently pretty bad, signed a deal along those lines.
27) Miami Marlins
The Marlins are just, I’m not too sure. They make about 16 million a year from Fox Sports Florida and the deal began about 2006. Since most of these deal are longer term (20-30 years) this could seriously hamper them for the foreseeable future. But hey, at least they got that billion dollar stadium and that big bright moving thing in center field.
26) Kansas City Royals
There isn’t that much known about the Royals deal except they make less than 20 million a year from it and it expires after 2019. Like the Cardinals their awful television deal hasn’t hindered their ability to be competitive. The AL Central, much like the NL Central is not dominated by big moneyed clubs. The World Series Champions are almost to the point of negotiating a new contract, but considering their smaller fan base, and small market, I can’t imagine them signing any major deals.
25) Pittsburgh Pirates
ROOT Sports has the Pirates on a deal of 18 million a year that expires after the 2019 season. Being a transplant from St. Louis and fully relying on mlb.tv to watch games everyday I think the Pirates broadcasts are one of my favorite in the league. I find myself watching the ROOT broadcast, particularly when the Cardinals are playing in Pittsburgh. Like the Cardinals this contract hasn’t hindered their ability to win a lot of games. They just haven’t been able to win the Central.
24) Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers are making about 21 million dollars a year from a deal with Fox Sports Wisconsin. With this money they buy performance enhancing drugs for their star players to use. Their deal runs out after the 2019 season.
23) Cincinnati Reds
Now the Cincinnati Reds who share a home with the world famous Proctor & Gamble are paid anywhere from 10 million – 30 million a year based on what I have been able to find. I’m sure neither of those is right and the actual amount is somewhere in the middle, just like their division counterparts, I was able to find out that it will expire at the end of 2016.
22) Colorado Rockies
21) Tampa Bay Rays
The Rockies and Rays are both on pretty shitty TV deals for the size of their markets: 20 million per year, but the Rockies deal doesn’t expire until 2020. While the Rays will expire after 2016. This gives the Rays the slight edge.
20) Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins may have been listed a little high, actually. The value of these contracts particularly one locked in for the foreseeable future, should be pretty high. The Twins are making 29 million a year from their deal but they signed it around the 2006 season which may lock them in at that relatively low price for the next 10 years or so. As people like the Diamondbacks and Phillies continue to sign astronomical new TV deals, this may end up being a pretty severe disadvantage as others in their division are due up for new deals fairly soon.
19) Cleveland Indians
The cost of broadcasting television games in Sports Hell? 30 million a year. The Indians as well are in a year to year contract, obviously contented with the current money from Fox Sports Ohio and possibly negotiating a little more now that Johnny Football may be in the stands periodically.
18) Toronto Blue Jays
Like the Braves above, Rodgers SportsNet owns the Blue Jays. They aren’t selling though, so they’re currently paying the Blue Jays about 36 million USD, and its renegotiated every season. This isn’t very competitive in the AL East, but seems to an appropriate market value for a team in a city that doesn’t seem to give two shits about the American Pastime.
17) Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers make a cool 40 million a year from their TV deal and it expires, like the Cardinals after the 2017 season. Fox Sports Detroit may have to pony up a substantial bit more money after this deal expires. The Tigers have went from a perennial underachiever to one of the premier franchises in the American League.
The rest of the MLB is either on new deals which are worth billions and equity in the local station or are grandfathered in to better contracts thanks to their large markets or owners shares of media companies.
Read Part 2 Here.
- Come on! Kershaw OR Greinke should have won the Cy Young over Arrieta, and particularly Greinke. Reminiscent of that year Lincecum won simply because Wainwright and Carpenter split the Midwest votes. AND winning MOTY when you finished third in your division! With a Cy Young winner and ROTY. And finished third. Go fuck yourself, Baseball Writers, you self congratuling assholes.