MLB could take over local TV broadcasts of 14 teams

MLB could take over local TV broadcasts of 14 teams

Approximately $1 billion of major league baseballRevenue is at risk if a cable television company fails to pay local broadcast rights to 14 teams and the sport prepares to resume television broadcasts.

“I think you should assume that if Diamond doesn’t broadcast, we’ll be able to step in,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a meeting of owners. “Our goal would be to make games available not only in the traditional wiring harness, but also on the digital side.”

Sinclair acquired 21 regional sports networks in 2019 from The Walt disney Co., which had taken them over as part of its takeover of 21st Century Fox. Sinclair also owns the rights to 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL franchises, and the teams fear that in a time of cord-cutting they will not receive payments from Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group subsidiary operating the networks as Bally Sports.

“A lot of what we do depends on how Diamond and the creditors play their cards, what they decide to do,” Manfred said. “Our #1 goal in terms of preparation is that if for some reason Diamond doesn’t broadcast, we want to be able to make sure our fans get their matches.”

When asked if $1 billion or $2 billion was at stake, Manfred replied, “Closer to the first number than the second.”

Billy Chambers, who had been Sinclair’s main financial offer, began working with MLB this month in a new role as executive vice president of local media.

Diamond owns the local broadcast rights for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Marlins Miami, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.

Baseball executives met at The Breakers, a 97-year-old neo-Renaissance hotel. The hall was filled with a mix of baseball executives and women in pink floral sundresses, some wearing hats, attending the Cancer Research Foundation’s Palm Beach hot pink luncheon and symposium. breast.

Oakland/Las Vegas Baseball Stadium

On another major topic, Manfred said he views the Athletics’ search for a new ballpark as “Oakland and/or Las Vegas.”

“This year they kind of got a deadline,” he said. “They need to have a deal in place by next January – really important from a club perspective.”

Ray’s Baseball Stadium

Tampa Bay announced plans Jan. 30 to build a baseball stadium near Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. The team has been looking for a new stadium for 15 years and owner Stu Sternberg says the Rays can’t afford to stay at their current stadium when their lease expires after the 2027 season.

“We haven’t talked about the Rays situation,” Manfred said. “Everything that’s happened recently Stu covered in detail at the last owners meeting. We had a nice layout of what was to come so there was no real update. over there.

Start extra innings with runner second

The rule was adopted as a pandemic measure for the 2020 season and looks likely to stay.

“The clubs have discussed the permanence of this rule. It has to come back to the committee on the ground,” Manfred said. “Clubs have gotten used to the extra innings rule. I think it’s generally well liked by players. I’m not betting on anything, but if you were to make a bet, I think it’s a very good bet, it will go on.

Income disparity

A new committee on economic reform met this week.

“Income disparity, a very big topic in the industry right now. It’s not unrelated to local media issues,” Manfred said.

Manfred said MLB made $10.8 billion in revenue last year. Some teams grew alarmed as the New York Mets, entering their third season under Steve Cohen, increased their payroll to around $370 million, well above the Dodgers’ record $291 million in LA in 2015.

“I think people know what happened in winter. I think they understand that this happened within the confines of the system they negotiated and beating their gums about it doesn’t do much,” Manfred said. “Overall, I think the band has matured to be better.”

executive counsel

San Francisco President Greg Johnson replaced Colorado President Dick Montfort, and Cleveland President Paul Dolan replaced Boston’s top owner John Henry on the executive board.

The board also includes Los Angeles Dodgers President Mark Walter and Detroit Tigers President Christopher Ilitch (whose terms expire in 2024); Philadelphia managing partner John Middleton and Kansas City chairman John Sherman (2025) and Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick and Seattle chairman John Stanton (2026)

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