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Thursday, January 16, 2014

All Dodgers, all the time? MLB approves new TV deal

In June, The Times reported that the parties had agreed to value the TWC deal at $8.5 billion, with the Dodgers keeping more than $6 billion and sharing more than $2 billion with the league. The timing of Clayton Kershaw’s new $215-million contract—a record for a pitcher, expected to be announced Friday—had nothing to do with the timing of MLB approval.

Yup, the contract extension happening the same day that the new TV deal was approved is all a coincidence.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2014 at 01:35 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. AROM Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4640431)
Over 25 years. 240 million per season.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4640443)
25 years? That seems like a crazy amount of time for both parties to lock themselves in for. Also, reading the article, at what point are cable subscribers going to revolt against having to pay money for channels they don't want?
   3. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4640446)
In 25 years won't we mostly be watching television through our... I don't know, let's say coffee mugs. Seems as sure a bet as anything else. Though I guess TWC will just own the coffee mugs. Nevermind, they're all set.
   4. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4640450)
Though I guess TWC will just own the coffee mugs. Nevermind, they're all set.

As long as people still subscribe to cable I guess they'll be fine. I don't see the world trending in that direction, though. Conversely, baseball rights could theoretically be worth a lot more money than they are now. 25 years in this environment of rapid change just seems crazy for both parties.
   5. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4640457)
The issue is that almost no one who made the deal is going to be around by the time the starts to look bad for any of the sides. If it is a bad deal for TWC 15 years from now it is the shareholders that will have to take it in the shorts and nobody cares about them. If it is the team that gets the raw deal, well, that's the new owner's problem and not the Guggenheim's problem since they sold the team 15 years ago. At this point nobody involved in the contract can lose.
   6. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 16, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4640458)
So do the Dodgers own any part of the new cable channel or not?
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4640479)
Also, I hope YR is as upset about the forced revenue sharing here as when it affects his favorite team.
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4640484)
Of course I am. I am a man of constant principle.
   9. AROM Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4640488)
25 years? That seems like a crazy amount of time for both parties to lock themselves in for. Also, reading the article, at what point are cable subscribers going to revolt against having to pay money for channels they don't want?


Yeah, 25 years makes it real hard to predict who ends up winning the deal. Although if it were my team, 6 billion is an awful lot to say no to. I would gladly pay $5 a month to watch my favorite team. But paying that on top of a $200 cable bill is another story. Certainly there are plenty of people cutting the cord and watching their shows over the internet. But how do they get that internet? From the cable company most likely.

The obvious casualties of the end of net neutrality are things like Netflix and Hulu. MLBTV might run into some trouble there too. Cable companies would prefer you to watch sports and movies while paying the full fare and not just for net access. And now they may have a tool to do something about it, unless congress or the FCC make some changes.

At least for now, you can get by with watching your team sans cable if you live out of market. For the fans that root for the home team, the only revolt you are left with is to go retro and not watch at all, just listen to them on the radio. Which is actually a good experience, though I don't think the whippersnappers will be up for it.
   10. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4640490)
This is obviously a bubble price and we're in the midst of bubble prices for the rights to exhibit live sports events. The cable model, with all the bundling, and payments by subscribers rather than eyeballs, is unsustainable and will crumble well before the end of this contract.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4640507)

25 years? That seems like a crazy amount of time for both parties to lock themselves in for. Also, reading the article, at what point are cable subscribers going to revolt against having to pay money for channels they don't want?


The problem with this is that I don't think an a la carte method changes what you pay, just what you get. I'm subsidizing the guy who wants to watch Lifetime but that guy is subsidizing my BeIN Sports.

I think the risk is a sports vs. non-sports scenario because as I understand it sports channels are much more expensive than non-sports channels.
   12. John Northey Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4640510)
A 25 year contract is extremely risky for the club. Look at other super-long term deals and you tend to see clubs regretting it well before the end.

This one is so rich that it seems impossible for it to become a problem, but who knows? Teams that own their own TV stations are in the ideal situation as they can profit immediately from any improvements the club shows, but they also run a risk of poor play = poor ratings and poor cash. It will be interesting.
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4640515)
In 25 years won't we mostly be watching television through our... I don't know, let's say coffee mugs. Seems as sure a bet as anything else. Though I guess TWC will just own the coffee mugs. Nevermind, they're all set.

Wait. The Dodgers are on The Weather Channel?
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4640520)
A 25 year contract is extremely risky for the club.

There may be a secret codicil to protect them from Weimar Republic-type inflation.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4640522)
I'm subsidizing the guy who wants to watch Lifetime

That is the one guy you may not be subsidizing.
   16. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4640525)
That is the one guy you may not be subsidizing.

Where else is a guy going to get his fix of rape, incest and Clorox commercials?
   17. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4640528)
Where else is a guy going to get his fix of rape, incest and Clorox commercials?


Newsletter. Subscribing.
   18. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4640530)
I heard Lifetime may show Project Runway now. It's just something I heard, who really knows these things.
   19. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4640540)
I heard Lifetime may show Project Runway now. It's just something I heard, who really knows these things.

I've watched that for years with Mrs. Shooty so I want to get two points off my chest about it:

1. I like watching skilled people work. Just focus on that, idiots! The "drama" isn't dramatic, it's stupid and a waste of time.
2. Hey contestants, notice how sharply dressed and put together the famous designers who guest judge on the show look? Dressing like a clown does not prove you are some creative genius.

Sorry. Carry on.
   20. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4640547)
Teams that own their own TV stations are in the ideal situation as they can profit immediately from any improvements the club shows, but they also run a risk of poor play = poor ratings and poor cash. It will be interesting.


The Dodgers do own a significant piece of the channel so $8.5 billion is the floor for the deal. If they are able to charge more than $5 per subscriber somewhere down the line the Dodgers' portion gets richer.
   21. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4640554)
Shooty I endorse both of those things.

Also Tim Gunn got me to start wearing checkered shirts with my suits. Thank you, Tim Gunn, and you're welcome, jmurph's co-workers.
   22. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4640563)
That's gingham, you heathen!
   23. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4640567)
I will say that I currently do not pay for cable because we live with the in-laws and my FIL NEEDS to have every channel. If we weren't there, I would seriously think about cord cutting. The only thing that would stop me is the sports offerings, especially with the Dodgers and Lakers being exclusively on cable now. Most of the stuff my wife watches is OTA stuff or watchable online.
   24. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4640570)
I really should cancel my cable subscription but I feel like my subscription is a bribe to Comcast to leave me alone.
   25. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4640571)
That's gingham, you heathen!


Isn't gingham an actual, specific type of cloth? I don't know these things. I'm not wearing grunge-era flannels under a suit, for instance. So am I by default wearing gingham, is this what you're telling me?

   26. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4640584)
Well, I don't know what you're wearing but if you're referencing somebody in fashion and you're wearing a dress shirt it is probably a gingham shirt as that is the style that is popular right now. Gingham is in the check family but there are many other kinds of checked shirts out there. The gingham one is the really popular one right now that everyone is wearing as a dress shirt. A gingham shirt is a check shirt but not all check shirts are gingham. For instance there is madras, tattersall, tartan, houndstooth, prince of wales, so on and so on. None of which would get confused as gingham. So there is no default but if I had to guess without seeing your shirts I'd say they were gingham.
   27. winnipegwhip Posted: January 16, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4640628)
If Piazza was still on the Dodgers nobody who supports LOGO would complain about cross .... subsidization.
   28. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4640631)
Isn't gingham an actual, specific type of cloth?


I thought it was some kind of Korean dance.
   29. AndrewJ Posted: January 16, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4640660)
I'm a little nervous about 25-year TV deals, too. The media landscape can radically change in that amount of time. As Joe Sheehan Tweeted today: "Twenty-five years ago, there was an NBC Game of the Week, more games not on TV than on, half the country had cable, no one had Internet."
   30. Srul Itza Posted: January 16, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4640674)
I am a man of constant principle.


Funny, you come across more as a man of constant sorrow.
   31. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4640691)
An abiding love of bluegrass and America are but some of the characteristics I share with with Dr. Ralph Stanley.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4640704)

I'm a little nervous about 25-year TV deals, too.

Right. You're locking in a big portion of your revenues for the next 25 years, but your liabilities are primarily player contracts that average only a few years in length. You're exposed to anything that causes a big rise in player costs, whether it's inflation, other teams getting better t.v. deals, etc.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4640797)
Though I guess TWC will just own the coffee mugs.

Where I think the potential problem lies is that the future delivery system would seem to be "internet"-based or some other form of "alternative media" and MLBAM supposedly controls those and the revenues are shared equally. What possible future non-cable/non-satellite/non-broadcast delivery system wouldn't fall under MLBAM's umbrella?

1. I like watching skilled people work. Just focus on that, idiots! The "drama" isn't dramatic, it's stupid and a waste of time.

Here in Oz -- and maybe where you live too! -- they had Masterchef Professional. Y'know, actual people who already know lots of techniques and how to cook stuff. Anyway, it was probably the only one of those I've enjoyed and stayed until the end. They really gave those people some insane challenges, especially the service ones (e.g. singlehandedly serving 60 people a 3-course). And to their credit there was a lot less "drama" but they still worked too much in. Of course it suffered from the main problem with all cooking shows -- I don't get to taste the food, how am I suppose to root for somebody?

It was obvious who was going to win when, in the first episode of the finals, they ran the background piece on the guy claiming to be a former drug addict and some halfway/rehab thing got him into cooking and it "saved his life." You don't save that stuff until the end unless the guy's gonna win.

One thing that annoys me about these shows is that they are "what have you done today?" In that Masterchef, the second-place finisher had won something like 5 of the last 6 challenges and even had immunity to go into the finals in the next-to-last round and took the challenge anyway and won it.

I assume it's worse on the Amazing Race -- the first place couple must be in front by like 8 days before they lose the final challenge.
   34. JE (Jason) Posted: January 17, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4640802)
25 years? That seems like a crazy amount of time for both parties to lock themselves in for.

Does it include an opt-out clause after the fifth year?
   35. ptodd Posted: January 18, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4641449)
Over 25 years. 240 million per season.


It may average that but it probably starts out at about 150 or so and then tops out at 350 or so at the end of the deal.

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