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Thursday, March 02, 2023

Liberty Media Releases Braves’ Financials For 2022 | MLBTR

Liberty Media, the corporation which owns the Braves, is a publicly traded company. As a result, they’re one of two teams (the Blue Jays being the other) whose books are opened to the public. This morning, Liberty Media released 2022 financials. The full report is available courtesy of Investors Observer and chronicled by Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to the report, Liberty Media collected a franchise-record $588MM in Braves-related revenue last year. That’s a $20MM jump over 2021’s previous franchise-record figure, which the corporation attributed to increased ticket demand and additional retail on the heels of Atlanta’s World Series championship.

Hombre Brotani Posted: March 02, 2023 at 12:39 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, dollah dollah bills, y'all, financial disclosure, liberty media

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   1. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2023 at 01:31 PM (#6119283)
I'll be interested to see how long the Braves stay public after they spin off from Liberty. Have to assume some guy like Cohen will swoop in and buy them up and take them private
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 02, 2023 at 02:20 PM (#6119294)
Evergreen: MLB is awash in dough, despite crying poverty for well over a century.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: March 02, 2023 at 02:22 PM (#6119295)
Does the publicly available accounting provide enough detail that somebody who knows what they're doing (not me) can take some educated guesses as to how much of that revenue was subject to revenue sharing, how much is the common revenue, etc? Does that $588 figure include the common revenue? Does it include their portion of the shared revenue minus their contribution to the pool?

Tidbit from the article is that, once you bring in the other stuff covered, the Braves will actually be over the threshold. I'm not clear how as it also says that Braves' MLB payroll will be just under $200 M and I didn't think the other stuff added up to anything close to $40 M.

The article also notes that the $588 does not include revenue from the associated real estate deal.

Anyway, it would seem that, at worst, after all the common/shared revenue is sorted out the Braves are generating at least $530 M in revenue of which $240 goes to player expenses leaving them with a meager $290 M to run a ticket-selling business and concert venue. I know everybody's struggling to find staff but they really never shoulda signed that peanut vendor for $20 M a year.
   4. Ron J Posted: March 02, 2023 at 04:22 PM (#6119314)
#3 I think so. Public disclosures helped Zimbalist in looking under the hood.
   5. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 02, 2023 at 04:44 PM (#6119322)
Tidbit from the article is that, once you bring in the other stuff covered, the Braves will actually be over the threshold. I'm not clear how as it also says that Braves' MLB payroll will be just under $200 M and I didn't think the other stuff added up to anything close to $40 M.

That is because the luxury tax figure is not that year's raw payroll. Instead it uses the average annual value for all of the contracts. Since the Braves have locked up a number of their younger guys, the AAV for those backloaded deals boost up their luxury tax number.

On the revenue sharing, I didn't see anything disclosed about how much they put in. They generally describe "other operating expenses" of $434 million as including payroll, costs to run Truist Park during games and concerts (including that peanut vendor), and "increased expenses under MLB’s revenue sharing plan." Note that the $434 million is quite a bit higher than 2021 ($377 million), even though the 2022 figure doesn't count the minor league teams, which were sold off in January 2022.

One final observation - I knew Formula One was a big deal, but the F1 revenues were about 5X that of the Braves. Overall the Braves' revenue of $588 million was a sliver of Liberty's total revenue of $12.1 billion, most of of which was from Sirius XM. The Braves really are a small part of the Liberty empire.
   6. The Duke Posted: March 02, 2023 at 05:09 PM (#6119325)
I did a deep dive on their financials a few years ago - there wasn't any second level detail on revenue. If they soon and stay public there might be more data in their disclosures

   7. Traderdave Posted: March 03, 2023 at 09:46 AM (#6119378)
The Cleveland Indians were a public company for a few years in late 90s (I owned 100 shares!) and I recall their SEC filings giving surprising detail of revenue streams, more that what Liberty gives on the Braves.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2023 at 01:56 PM (#6119393)
#5: good point, the payroll figure in the filing would be actual, not CBT. Anyway, the article says their CBT payroll has hit $240 vs a threshold of $233, so not a big deal but still over. As real payroll climbs it will be interesting to see if the Braves try to trade the back years of some of those extensions.
   9. The Duke Posted: March 03, 2023 at 04:39 PM (#6119408)
The extensions were all about creating a good environment for the spin. It will be interesting to see how they approach running the team when it is a separate entity. Like I said, I think it's likely they get taken private by a deep pockets investor from Georgia(think Cohen or Arte Moreno). It's such an ego thing for billionaires.

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