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Thursday, March 19, 2015

ESPN: Examining the state of baseball

Illegal streaming hurts Max Scherzer.

Next time you think about tuning in to your local regional sports network for a game, remember that you could be helping your team pay for the free-agent contract of David Price, Jordan Zimmermann or Matt Wieters. Local deals average more than $60 million in annual revenue per team—that’s a full 25 percent of revenue (and at least one or two big free-agent signings).

But a revenue problem looms, if cable’s bundling packages fade away and subscribers can go a la carte, picking and choosing the channels they pay for and receive. Many teams have long-term contracts with their regional sports networks, which are funded by monthly carriage fees: 11 of the 30 regional contracts are through 2030 and beyond. Those fees are paid by all subscribers to a carrier, even if only a small fraction of them are watching the games.

For example, the Texas Rangers will make about $115 million this year from Fox Sports Southwest, which has 2.7 million subscribers but only 58,000 average viewers per Rangers game. That’s 2.2 percent of the subscriber base. The chances that the Rangers could earn $115 million in paying subscriptions are next to none without asking viewers to pay an exorbitant monthly fee. So in Texas, if even five times the number of average viewers decided to pay for the channel, they’d have to pay almost $400 a year.

MLB teams making these deals face big questions. Are the annual payouts, like the $340 million Time Warner Cable promised the Dodgers, doomed to disappear if subscribers won’t pay? What happens if teams sign players with money partly wrapped up in TV deals—money that disappears if/when cable goes a la carte?

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dying, cable, cord-cutters, darren rovell

Friday, November 14, 2014

Calcaterra: Baseball died in the movie “Interstellar,” you guys

“One of the extraordinarily small yet extremely vivid bits of the scene setting is a baseball game. It’s on what looks like a small, minor league field in the middle of a farming community. One team is a local nine made up of what are presumably amateurs. The other team: the New York Yankees. Which still exist, but have been reduced to a barnstorming, probably semi-pro situation. They have a banner on the wall welcoming “The World Famous New York Yankees,” for example.

I’m trying to get my head around all that would have to happen in society for Major League Baseball to truly die like that. Yet what would not be so bad that the New York Yankees could still exist, in however a diminished form. And I can’t decide if seeing them diminished like that should be a joyful bit of schadenfreude for non-Yankees fans or if, alternatively, we should be concerned that not even a freakin’ world-threatening apocalypse can kill the Bronx Bombers.”


Monday, November 03, 2014

Baseball Still A Major Draw On TV

Fans who stayed up to watch Fox’s prime-time-and-beyond broadcasts of the World Series had a reason — seven reasons, as it played out — to be tired. But they’re not nearly as tired as the stale gripes that baseball is dying…

It helped Fox win prime time for the sixth time during the Series. Given that Royals-Giants wasn’t perceived as a marquee national matchup, the 9.1 overnight rating for the series wasn’t terribly far off from the 10.1 the network drew for the six-game Red Sox-Cardinals series last year.

Baseball doesn’t draw like it used to. It doesn’t draw like the NFL. Those days are gone. But there’s a reason Fox, ESPN, and Turner are in the first year of a combined $12.4 billion rights deal through 2021. As a television show, baseball is still a major draw.

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 03, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dying, fox, tbs, television

 

 

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