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Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Unplugged Effect: How cord-cutting could become baseball’s next huge crisis

The biggest disruptor of that perfect storm is technology. As Zimbalist noted, sports fans have so many ways to watch games now; that strips control away from cable networks, and makes it tougher for those network to pass rights fees onto customers. Meanwhile, consumers also have exponentially more entertainment platforms to choose from, sports-related or otherwise. That means fewer people are likely to watch games live—doubly so for younger generations lured away by Twitch and other exploding platforms. Rising numbers for newer sports like eSports and mixed martial arts have also pulled viewers away from traditional big-three viewing.

Even if those worrying trends continue, it could take several years before we see the full negative effects. The NBA’s deal with ESPN and Turner Sports runs through 2025. The NFL’s deals with FOX, NBC, and CBS run through 2022. MLB’s TV deals with
FOX, ESPN, and Turner run through 2021. The Collective Bargaining Agreements for each of those three sports have multiple years left on them too: The NFL’s runs through 2020, and the recently ratified agreements in MLB and the NBA last through 2021 and 2024, respectively.

That leaves the big three sports leagues little choice but to explore alternative broadcast arrangements, if they hope to avoid the potential cord-cutting bloodbath that could look far, far worse three, four, and seven years from now. MLB Advanced Media is a growing force in the sports world, and ESPN has hitched its fortunes to BAM’s growth. You can now stream NFL games on Yahoo! and Twitter. Funneling fans from traditional TV channels to over-the-top devices could absorb some of the blow too.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 177 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, mlb network, mlbam

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Statcast wants to change how we’re consuming baseball games

BAM wants anyone interested to understand from whence its WAR came. So the idea is for a tree – one that allows a click or tap on the overall number, which then branches into components (offensive, defensive, baserunning, etc.) that show his overall value in each. From there comes a breakdown of more subcategories, and subs of subs, and on until piecing together WAR isn’t so daunting.

They’re also toying with the idea of an alternative presentation for their WAR. Even though the current one correlates quite strongly with overall victories in a season when adding up individual WAR contributions from each team, BAM’s audience is different than the B-R/FanGraphs niche. BAM could, for example, judge players on a 1-to-100 scale using the same criteria as another would for WAR.

“There’s an argument to be made for putting out an extra scale,” Petriello said.

“What will make our version of WAR intriguing,” Willman said, “is the way we’re going to make it accessible.”

Not just with WAR, Tango said, but all of Statcast: “We’re in the third inning.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2017 at 01:59 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbam, statcast

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Disconnect Between Franchise Values and Player Salaries

Specifically, MLBAM and their BAMTech spin-off unit have created an enormous technological powerhouse by moving early into streaming technology, and BAMTech is now one of the world’s dominant players for hosting and providing over-the-top content…..

While nothing in life is guaranteed, that money is pretty likely to be distributed at some point in the not-too-distant future, so anyone buying the Marlins (or any other MLB team) is likely to get a pretty significant rebate on the purchase price if or when Disney buys out the league’s interest in BAMTech. And the sale of BAMTech does nothing to affect the league’s ownership of MLBAM, which remains a significantly valuable operation itself, and is still entirely owned by the 30 teams.

In other words, if you buy the Marlins, you’re buying a baseball team, but you’re also buying a 3% stake in a very valuable tech company, and you’re buying about a 2% stake in an even more valuable tech company that already has a purchase agreement in place. And it’s not really clear that the players have much in the way of a legitimate claim to any of the money that baseball owners are generating from the investments in these tech companies.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, franchise valuation, marlins, mlbam

 

 

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