PV Event Center - Harlem Globetrotters 1210

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | Yellow Pages | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : sports : sports December 17, 2014


7/10/2012 10:29:00 PM
Sports Beyond the Lines
Column: MLB plans on doubling TV revenue
BIO
Jordan Kobritz is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is a Professor and Chair of the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland and is a contributing author to the Business of Sports Network. Jordan can be reached at jkobritz@mindspring.com.

Jordan Kobritz
Courier Columnist


Recent media rights deals for sports properties, professional and amateur, have begun to resemble monopoly money. That's good news for Major League Baseball.

MLB currently banks almost $712 million per season from three different sources, ESPN, Fox and Turner. Those deals, which were signed in 2006, will all terminate at the end of the 2013 season. Earlier this year, league executives began negotiations with representatives of the three networks in an effort to extend the expiring agreements. However, in each instance the exclusive negotiating window expired before the parties could reach an agreement.

That means MLB is currently a free agent with the opportunity to do two things: Negotiate with additional suitors (NBC Sports Network being the prime candidate) and play each of the media giants against each other. In addition to the three current rights holders, another possible suitor is CBS, which due to its strong ratings position has less of a need for MLB programming than its competitors do.

MLB's own network may also be a factor in the discussions. The MLB Network currently broadcasts a number of live games during the season along with two Division Series games, and may wish to expand its programming. While MLB teams may elect to forgo competing with their broadcast partners for playoff games, expanding in-season coverage may be a viable option without potentially diluting rights fees.

Regardless of which networks end up with broadcast rights to the national pastime, one thing is certain: MLB is in an ideal position to capitalize on the frenzy for sports programming. Despite mixed ratings, the league has a number of factors in its favor, including a new CBA which guarantees labor peace through the 2016 season, competitive balance that is unrivaled in any other professional sports league, and an abundance of young stars that should make the sport attractive to the younger generation of sports fans.

Often accused of being tradition bound, MLB has gone to great pains in recent years to market their product to the younger set. The league has added instant replay, televised the first round of the free agent draft, and this year, agreed to add two more wild card teams to the playoffs.

This is an advantageous time to be marketing media rights for professional sports leagues. With the exception of NASCAR, the major sports leagues are locked into long term rights deals. Any network that is shut out of the new baseball agreements will be without the opportunity to add a major sports property for several more years.

Other than MLB, the party that stands to gain the most in the upcoming negotiations is NBC. With a major commitment to expand programming on its recently renamed NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), the subsidiary of Comcast Corporation could be poised to escalate the bidding for MLB. Currently, NBCSN's prime programming is the NHL, still a niche sport, supplemented by a host of lessor sports such as cycling and elk hunting. While NBC holds the rights to the popular NFL on Sunday nights, as well as the Olympics, NBCSN could use the boost it would receive from a piece of the MLB package.

The network with the most to lose is ESPN. The World Wide Leader can ill afford to lose its baseball programming. In fact, ESPN may bid aggressively for a piece of MLB's post season which is currently held by FOX and Turner.

Along with television rights, MLB will almost certainly include a package of digital rights, perhaps not entirely by choice. The league has preferred to retain digital rights and market them through its own MLB Advanced Media arm, the envy of the industry. But most TV networks have insisted on digital rights being included in all new media deals, which may also be the case here.

Where the negotiations will lead is anyone's guess. The prediction here is MLB teams will at least double their current take from national TV contracts. Several things are certain. When the current round of negotiations are completed, several media outlets will be very pleased; at least one of the bidders will be left at the altar, with plenty of cash to bid on the next sports property to hit the open market; and MLB teams will be a lot richer.


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Snow could be on way for Prescott area (3488 views)

•   Winter Weather Advisory issued; 1 to 2 inches of snow predicted today (1866 views)

•   Company reunites vet, WWII plane (1500 views)

•   County bans e-cigarettes: County buildings, vehicles now smoke and vapor free (1470 views)

•   Playground gets makeover, thanks to volunteers (1301 views)



Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Tornquist

I had to laugh at this statement:

"competitive balance that is unrivaled in any other professional sports league"

You made 0 facts to back your statement up.

1) There is no salary cap, just a luxury tax. Teams like the Yankees(while wanting to cut back on total salary to lessen the blow of the luxury tax), can still spend much more than smaller market teams(Like our own Diamondbacks).

2) Can you remember the last time Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Seattle, etc. made the playoffs?

NHL has probably the best competitive balance, up there with the NFL.

NHL last season, had the Western Conference(If you paid any attention to the Coyotes saga this past season, you should remember this), with 4 teams that could have made the playoffs! Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, all fighting for positions 3, 7, 8, and 9, pretty much until the last day of the regular season!

I really disagree with your statement that MLB has competitive balance that is unrivaled in professional sports. MLB has the 2nd weakest compared to NBA, which obviously has the worst.




Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Sports Desk 300x219
HSE - SPORTS FACEBOOK BUTTON
Find more about Weather in Prescott, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Reader Poll
Reader Poll

Whose quarterback situation looks more perilous:

Please select one:
Cardinals down to 3rd stringer
Bears with Jay Cutler

View Results


Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
Tim's Auto Group 1217 SLB

© Copyright 2014 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, dcourier.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved