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Monday, October 31, 2022

MLB Gross Revenue Back to Nearly $11 Billion, Manfred Says

“We’re going to be just shy of $11 [billion],” Manfred said when asked if revenues would be back over $10 billion.

The figure reached $10.7 billion in 2019, the last full season played without the COVID-19 restrictions that began in in March 2020. That season was delayed four months, abbreviated to 60 games, and played without fans in the stands…


“Look, I think we’ve had a phenomenal year,” Manfred said. “In September, we saw the benefits of the new playoff format. We had weekend draws we hadn’t seen since 2014. The three-game Wild Card round performed really well on a weekend against football.”

MLB recently struck deals with streaming TV services, Apple for seven years at $85 million a season and Peacock, worth $30 million a year for two seasons. Attendance overall was back to 95% of 2019.

“I’m excited about how it went overall,” Manfred said. “I think the postseason in general has been great. And I look forward to 2023 being even better.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2022 at 11:30 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rob manfred

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   1. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 31, 2022 at 11:35 PM (#6103484)
“We’re going to be just shy of $11 [billion],” Manfred said when asked if revenues would be back over $10 billion.
"But we still can't build our own stadiums, so pony up those sweet, sweet tax dollars, you stupid chumps."
   2. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6103494)
Ok
   3. Traderdave Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:43 AM (#6103500)
Is this the aggregate revenue of all 30 teams plus the league office, or is it just league office revenue?



(Didn't RTFA...)
   4. Obo Posted: November 01, 2022 at 10:58 AM (#6103508)
I'm so happy for them.
   5. John Northey Posted: November 01, 2022 at 11:34 AM (#6103510)
And that is before any hidden revenue (for example, the Blue Jays are owned by Rogers, who also owns their TV station SportsNet, the stadium, and the largest cable company in Canada - lots of ways to hide revenue there).

So $11 billion / 30 teams = $366.67 million per team. Obviously revenue isn't evenly distributed but if you used the NBA model (44.74% of revenue to players) the per team level would be $164.05 million, which (after extras are included as done by the current luxury tax type) is lower than what was spent = $185,200,487 on average in 2022.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: November 01, 2022 at 11:44 AM (#6103511)
The return of the ghost runner at second base to open extra innings is “still to be determined,” Manfred said.
I will personally pledge $11 billion a year to get rid of the ghost runner.
   7. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 01, 2022 at 12:03 PM (#6103512)
But attendance is down!
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2022 at 12:30 PM (#6103514)

But attendance is down!


Yup, baseball has absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
   9. Ron J Posted: November 01, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6103518)
#8 This is an issue for ... well everything. So many options these days. A good TV rating is a fraction of what it once was and almost no individual games are a spectacle (like a major concert -- how are those doing now? Seems to me top acts are doing fine and other acts are not)

Attendance was in a gradual decline since 2015. Then Covid. At least this year the attendance trend was positive for the first time in a while. Still not close to where it was in 2015.

There's no short-term reason for concern. Attendance may be down, but revenue is really what matters to MLB and that's looking fine. Long term? Well eventually the people who have been predicting doom and gloom since (at least) the 1950s are going to be right. No signs of it now, but that's no reason for MLB to be complacent.

It's at least plausible that they're shedding fans (death or loss of interest) faster than they're being replaced. If so, so far it's a very slow leak and will not be problematic for quite some time. But sometime these things hit critical numbers.
   10. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 01, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6103527)
It's at least plausible that they're shedding fans (death or loss of interest) faster than they're being replaced.

It's more than plausible. There are still kids playing baseball, but not a lot of fans among those who don't play. At least this is from what I see in my kids (11, 14) and their friends.
   11. John Northey Posted: November 01, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6103536)
One thing to factor in with attendance is the shift in focus from packing the park to maximizing the dollars per seat. Back in the 80's (yeah I'm old) I remember $4 seats in the bleachers at Exhibition Stadium for the Jays, early in the Dome in '89 they still had some seats (10 miles from the field) for $4 at first but now their focus is on making every seat over $100 - way more than inflation would dictate. $4 in 1989 = $8.08 today, or even $50 then would be $101 today (heck, it appears from a quick online check no seats were over $20 back then). Today a season ticket ranges from $1605 to $7855 for what is available still ($19-$96.97 per game). It all adds up obviously.

Teams have learned you can make more by charging more for 'premium' seats and by limiting supply. If you have 50k who want to go to a game, but only 30k seats exist then you get a battle for those seats which ups the price. Yeah, you might get more games with smaller crowds, but if you make more from 30k vs 50k going to a game then it works out nicely (fewer staff needed, but same or better revenue = more profit). Plus today the TV revenue has taken over with many teams now getting $50 mil+ per year from their rights (Royals, one of the smaller markets, gets $50 mil per, while bigger teams get $100+ mil per year).
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:49 PM (#6103635)
... trumpers = people complaining about attendance... morons are morons and I just don't care about them being massively stupid sometimes.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:51 PM (#6103637)
basically revenue bounced back, meanwhile morons are complaining about attendance... it's revenue, ultimately only simpletons care about where the revenues are coming from. The entire point is that revenue has bounced back... pure and simple, it's not a difficult concept to understand.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:53 PM (#6103639)
... trumpers = people complaining about attendance

"DISCORD: PLEASE PICK UP THE WHITE COURTESY PHONE, DISCORD...."

it's like bedbugs.
even when you think they're gone, one day there's a telltale bite on your leg and you realize - total eradication is impossible. oblivious gonna be oblivious. no boundaries. infect every website, every communication, with non sequiturs...
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 01, 2022 at 10:32 PM (#6103656)
... trumpers = people complaining about attendance... morons are morons and I just don't care about them being massively stupid sometimes.

basically revenue bounced back, meanwhile morons are complaining about attendance... it's revenue, ultimately only simpletons care about where the revenues are coming from. The entire point is that revenue has bounced back... pure and simple, it's not a difficult concept to understand.

Sorry, how stupid do you have to be to not realize that gouging current fans on ticket prices so that fewer people, especially kids, come to games is a long term losing strategy. Have you heard the expression"don't eat your seed corn"? That's what MLB is doing.

I wouldn't be that obnoxious, but you started the name calling. Lot's of people who voted for Trump are feeling pretty vindicated by the dumpster fire the US currently is under Sleepy Joe and Incoherent Kamala.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2022 at 10:38 PM (#6103660)
... trumpers = people complaining about attendance... morons are morons and I just don't care about them being massively stupid sometimes.


Ithaca wasn't complaining about attendance. He's on your side of the argument, that as long as MLB's revenues are OK then clearly the game is on a rocketship to the moon.
   17. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 02, 2022 at 12:56 AM (#6103671)
All I can see is "Manfred", "$11 billion", and "gross". They go together perfectly.
   18. John Northey Posted: November 02, 2022 at 09:38 AM (#6103682)
How the heck is it supposed to be Trumpers who care about attendance? I'm Canadian and find all things Trump disgusting and refuse to go to the USA until you guys get rid of him and his influence - so sadly I won't go to Disneyworld ever again it seems as Florida appears to be terminally infected. I care about attendance as it is the easiest to track measure of how much teams fanbases care. For example, outside of the 2020/2021 multi stadium mess the Jays have been between 1.4 mil and 4 million in attendance (1983 to now - since they first cracked 500 up to this year) and even if you go all the way back their worst was 1981 (strike year so just 2/3rds of a season) with 755k, worst full season 2021 with 806k (split between 2 minor league parks and a month+ in their real one). Oakland this year was at 788k with no restrictions, 701k in 2021 (at home with minimal restrictions and coming off 3 straight playoff appearances). Their last year over 2 million was 2005, the Jays had 2.6 mil this year, over 3 million last in 2017. The A's have never reached 3 million. Tampa only cracked 2 million their first season, Miami 3 times (once over 3 million - their first season). Clearly those 3 cities do not have much fan support, getting to the World Series isn't even enough for their fans to fill their parks. The Expos reached 2 million more times than any of those 3 did - 4 times - despite only making the playoffs once. And in an era when 2 million was as rare as 3 million is now.
   19. Ron J Posted: November 02, 2022 at 11:51 AM (#6103689)
I've been hearing the "oh kids aren't playing" for decades. And maybe one day it'll matter. Hasn't yet. Won't in the foreseeable future either.

And Snapper's "think of the kids" argument isn't particularly compelling either. It's never been true that getting kids to come out was a critical part of building a fan base. And these days an awful lot of kids wouldn't find multi-hour anything appealing.

   20. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 02, 2022 at 12:26 PM (#6103695)
I've been hearing the "oh kids aren't playing" for decades. And maybe one day it'll matter. Hasn't yet. Won't in the foreseeable future either.

My point was not that kids aren't playing. I don't know what little league numbers are like, but I suspect about the same number of kids are playing now (or did in 2019) compared to decades past.

My belief is that among kids who don't play, interest in baseball is at an all-time low. Partially due to shorter attention spans and largely due to many more entertainment options. But regardless of the reason, losing kids' interest in baseball is a bad thing. I don't know anyone who didn't develop their fandom when they were young.
   21. Robbo Posted: November 02, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6103700)
Lot's of people who voted for Trump are feeling pretty vindicated by the dumpster fire the US currently is under Sleepy Joe and Incoherent Kamala.


How was the view on January 6?
   22. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 02, 2022 at 02:07 PM (#6103706)
Ithaca wasn't complaining about attendance. He's on your side of the argument, that as long as MLB's revenues are OK then clearly the game is on a rocketship to the moon.


This is an oversell.

My point is that we're using outdated metrics to define the sport's popularity it 2022.

There's this subset of people who act as though methods of popularity are unchanged from the 80s and 90s and want to just complain about in-person attendance being down from the late 2000s, TV ratings being at all-time lows, the ASG being irrelevant, Mike Trout not getting mobbed when he goes to shop at a Trader Joes's, or whatever nostalgia fueled fantasies they have about The Way It Used To Be.

MLB.TV streamed 11 billion minutes in 2022 — a record for the league. The league has 4 million YouTube subscribers. Anecdotally, I haven't had cable in 4 years, haven't been to a game in 10, but I've been watching the playoffs on YouTube TV.

There's a reason league revenue has climbed for two decades straight.

It's always ironic to me hearing fans complain about how broadcasters today seem to hate the game on the field. Because a lot of these fans sure seem to love talking about how the sport as a whole is dying.
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 02, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6103710)
MLB.TV streamed 11 billion minutes in 2022 — a record for the league.

And that was just for the Yankees/Red Sox games!
   24. Dolf Lucky Posted: November 02, 2022 at 05:59 PM (#6103739)
I’ve previously been in Finance roles for insurance companies, so I’m sympathetic to looking at the health of a business through a P&L lens.

If we were to look at baseball through a user experience lens, however, consider that compared to just five years ago:

-It’s harder and more expensive to watch every game on TV
-Ticket prices are higher while spending power is down
-The competitive balance is worse
-Pace of play might be worse? It was already pretty bad five years ago
-The style of play continues to get more tilted towards maximum velocity and maximum strikeouts

In addition, certain traditional elements of the game have been eroded (pitchers hitting, empty bases to start the 10th, one-out relievers, etc.). You may not agree that these changes have hurt the UX but if you harm tradition while also overseeing a downgraded product, there will inevitably be a cost.

I guess my point is that I’m not persuaded by increased revenues as a sign of the game’s health.
   25. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 02, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6103740)
I guess my point is that I’m not persuaded by increased revenues as a sign of the game’s health.


Earnings can simply be a sign that you have begun to "harvest" your brand equity for profits:

Record Earnings boost GM profits to $4.9 Billion in 1988

Meanwhile:

1986 Buick Riviera - GM's Deadly Sin #1

Followed by:

June 1st, 2009: GM Declares Bankruptcy
   26. NaOH Posted: November 02, 2022 at 06:52 PM (#6103746)
I guess my point is that I’m not persuaded by increased revenues as a sign of the game’s health.


RIM, properly known as Research in Motion, was the maker of the widely used, much beloved Blackberry devices. RIM's global smartphone marketshare peaked at nearly 21%, and its stock peaked nearly a year after the iPhone was released. On a comparable timeline of consumer success/decline was Kodak with its digital cameras. I'm not smart enough to make a prediction about MLB, but a business doing well is obviously no guarantee of ongoing success.
   27. Brian C Posted: November 02, 2022 at 07:31 PM (#6103753)
Earnings can simply be a sign that you have begun to "harvest" your brand equity for profits:

OK, so I don't think anyone would dispute that MLB could make some bad choices in the future that would possibly lead to disaster in, uh, 20 years. But it remains a fact that GM sales were pretty healthy back in 1988, even though they had inevitably lost a lot of market share from their heyday.

(The link re: the '86 Rivera is a weird non-sequitur)
RIM, properly known as Research in Motion, was the maker of the widely used, much beloved Blackberry devices. RIM's global smartphone marketshare peaked at nearly 21%, and its stock peaked nearly a year after the iPhone was released. On a comparable timeline of consumer success/decline was Kodak with its digital cameras. I'm not smart enough to make a prediction about MLB, but a business doing well is obviously no guarantee of ongoing success.

Cool story, so everyone be on the lookout for a brand new sport that comes along and suddenly makes MLB completely obsolete.

People sometimes just don't understand the point of analogies. "Oh hey this stuff happened in the past, so obviously all future events are analogous." Sorry, no - that's just not how it works.
   28. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: November 02, 2022 at 08:05 PM (#6103758)
OK, so I don't think anyone would dispute that MLB could make some bad choices in the future that would possibly lead to disaster in, uh, 20 years.


(The link re: the '86 Rivera is a weird non-sequitur)


The point of the 1986 Riviera link is that GM had ALREADY started making some really bad choices which had begun to destroy it's brand equity. It was already basically living off the past, having reduced it's costs, but also eliminated investments in engineering and product differentiation which would soon begin to seriously impact profits and sales.

everyone be on the lookout for a brand new sport that comes along and suddenly makes MLB completely obsolete.


MLB has already lost significant ground to the NFL and the NBA, and things like the WNBA, MLS, and NWSL are beginning to make some significant inroads as well. As pointed out in an earlier thread, the Oakland Roots minor-league soccer team was averaging about 20% of the attendance/game of the Oakland A's, though granted on 25% fewer games. And of course there's this:

Major League Pickleball
   29. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 02, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6103803)
I'm Canadian and find all things Trump disgusting and refuse to go to the USA until you guys get rid of him and his influence

Are you in league with the Americans who threatened/will threaten to move to Canada if Trump is/was (re-)elected? Are you all on the same e-mail list or something?

the Oakland Roots minor-league soccer team was averaging about 20% of the attendance/game of the Oakland A's

Per wiki: "(The Oakland Stompers of the NASL averaged) 11,929 fans (a game). (The Coliseum was a lonely place in the summer of '78: the Stompers' co-tenants, baseball's Oakland Athletics, attracted just 7,218 fans per home date.)"
   30. Brian C Posted: November 02, 2022 at 09:28 PM (#6103807)
The point of the 1986 Riviera link is that GM had ALREADY started making some really bad choices which had begun to destroy it's brand equity. It was already basically living off the past, having reduced it's costs, but also eliminated investments in engineering and product differentiation which would soon begin to seriously impact profits and sales.

That's just inane - pure after-the-fact just-so reasoning. Throughout its history, GM always put out some cars that were not successful - hell, #2 on that list of "Deadly Sins" was the 1971 Vega. Saying that the '86 Rivera was the true canary in the coal mine is nothing but novelization.
MLB has already lost significant ground to the NFL and the NBA, and things like the WNBA, MLS, and NWSL are beginning to make some significant inroads as well.

No doubt, although "making some significant inroads" really makes them seem like bigger deals than those latter leagues are. But at any rate, the long, slow decline due to the inevitable change in market conditions over the decades is precisely what makes the comparisons to Blackberry/Kodak so inapt. Once upon a time, the Pullman Company was one of the most successful companies in the country - but the markets changed, railroads became less important, and they slowly faded over the course of decades. SO I GUESS THEY CELEBRATED THEIR 1910 PROFITS A LITTLE TOO EARLY, HUH?????
   31. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 02, 2022 at 09:36 PM (#6103812)
Per wiki: "(The Oakland Stompers of the NASL averaged) 11,929 fans (a game). (The Coliseum was a lonely place in the summer of '78: the Stompers' co-tenants, baseball's Oakland Athletics, attracted just 7,218 fans per home date.)"


That's because most people in the Bay area are left wing liberal hipsters and wouldn't be caught dead watching "your dad's game" which is played by white, neo fascists. They are more inclined to attend a more gentile game played by respectful athletes and attended by quiet, well behaved crowds(wait, that last part isn't quite right....)
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 04, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6104227)
@jjcoop36
In its newest earnings report, Liberty Media announced the Braves earned $238 million in baseball revenue during the third quarter of 2022. Add in the $247 million in baseball revenue in Q2 and $11 million in Q1 and the Braves have earned $496 million in baseball revenue in 2022.
   33. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2022 at 03:13 PM (#6104232)
to attend a more gentile game


Are you saying baseball is too Jewish for SF hipsters?
   34. ReggieThomasLives Posted: November 04, 2022 at 11:05 PM (#6104269)
The problem with GM was that it’s management was writing checks it’s business couldn’t cover.

I think before the bankruptcy it was only paying union employees around $37/hour, but their cost was over $100/hour because of the massive amounts needed to cover their retiree pension and medical care coverage. They just had too few workers and too little revenues to cover the far larger number of retirees from its salad days.

I sorta blame the union a little too. They were a bit short sighted in not seeing the demographic tidal wave that would drive GM insolvent. A more strategic leadership might have traded cash comp for GM equity while it was still worth something and maybe that helps keep it worth something.
   35. John Northey Posted: November 05, 2022 at 12:09 AM (#6104271)
I give MLB credit where it is due - the ghost runner was a great idea - pisses off old farts like we all are here, but makes the game quicker and a lot more exciting in extra innings. The bigger bases, limits on throws to first, 20 second limit between pitches (I think that is what it is) are all good ideas to speed up the game more. You can see <a >length of games at BR</a> - 3 hours 6 minutes this year, after setting the record at 3 hrs 11 minutes in 2021 and 3h 10m in 2019. Ever year from 2012 to now has been 3+ hours (not one year before that was at 3 hours).

Has this affected attendance? Seems to - peak was 32,696 per game in 2007 and we have the exact same 30 teams today as then. 2016 was the last year where league average attendance was over 30k (2004-2016 were all 30k+ with 1993/1994 also being 30k+ years). 2022's 26,566 lands between 1991 and 1992, so a peak can happen quickly. PED's did help attendance (by 1993 they were getting to be common see Jose Canseco and various others we all suspect from then such as Kirby Puckett). Fans love home runs and high scoring even more than parity and new parks. Speed is nice, and I love games with lots of it

Look at MLB history and you can see period of high offense are great for crowds, low offense is terrible. MLB pre-Ruth never had 8 million total fans, but his first Yankee season (1920) saw over 9 million fans show up and it wouldn't drop sub 7 million until 1932, well into the depression.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6104303)

Has this affected attendance? Seems to - peak was 32,696 per game in 2007 and we have the exact same 30 teams today as then.


Attendance this year was lower than the years immediately preceding the rule change (not counting COVID years) so I'm not sure I follow. The ghost runner applies in about 10 percent of games, I would be very surprised if any fans were motivated to go to the park to see it.

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