All talk and analysis about how efficient MLB’s testing program is was accompanied by serious questions. Like how many players are now trying to beat the system? Some voices, such as Michael Kay (ESPN-98.7), even demanded the commissioner overturn the result of the All-Star Game, which they declared officially tainted (Cabrera was the game’s MVP).
If all this yapping continues, resulting in even more suspicion, could parts of baseball’s business — specifically its television business — be adversely affected?
Seligula can take some solace in the fact that talk is cheap, much cheaper than the multi-billion dollar television deal he hopes to squeeze out of networks interested in purchasing MLB’s TV rights. Baseball’s current contracts with Fox, ESPN and TBS, worth close to $5 billion, expire following the 2013 season. The commissioner is looking for a significant increase.
... “If all of a sudden guys were dropping left and right, big stars from big teams, it could give you pause (on spending heavily on MLB TV rights),” a network source with a baseball connection said. “But in the long run the sport already survived the worst. It’s a huge stretch to think one positive (drug) test is going to weigh heavily on negotiations that are already going on.”
The other reason network suits will overlook the Cabrera bust, and any concern over performance-enhancing drugs re-emerging as a significant problem for baseball, is the competition between outlets for a share of MLB’s TV package.
Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM | 25 comment(s)
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