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Thursday, September 24, 2020

MLB’s new $3.75 billion deal with Turner includes big changes

Major League Baseball’s new seven-year deal with Turner Sports is for nearly $3.745 billion at $535 million per season, according to sources.

It is a 65-percent increase over MLB/TBS’ previous contract.

When the extension kicks in during the 2022 season, the league and the network are going to try to make their setup more like the one Turner Sports rode to prominence with the NBA, as it will feature a prime-time weeknight game and a new studio show.

Over Zoom, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Warner Media News & Sports chairman Jeff Zucker discussed the new deal with The Post.

Besides continuing its extensive postseason package that includes an annual league championship series, TBS will create a Tuesday game of the week that will be preceded by its reconfigured pregame featuring Ernie Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins and Curtis Granderson.

The new team debuts on TBS’ playoff coverage this year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:42 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: television

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   1. winnipegwhip Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5978463)
"Starting in 2022 we will let the networks choose the playoff teams at the end of the regular season!"

-Rob Manfred
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5978469)
"from a pool of teams that received the most innovative, fun, and convenient gambling action during the season at MGM Resorts, the Official Gaming Partner of Major League Baseball™," Manfred continued.
   3. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5978473)
A prime-time weeknight game is a good thing, and the fact that the contract is for 7 years means that TNT will have an incentive to make that work, which is good for the game I think. There is an implicit alliance here with basketball, which competes less directly with baseball (in terms of season-overlap) than football, and has a similar structure of games all week. This could also be good for the game, as there is the chance that fans of basketball could move to baseball during the basketball off-season, and vice-versa.
   4. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5978476)
i thought baseball was dying? :-)
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5978477)
there is the chance that fans of basketball could move to baseball during the basketball off-season
”It’s just like basketball, if there was no shot clock and players took 30 seconds between dribbles!”
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:52 PM (#5978478)
Sabermetrics has found when you wait 30 seconds between dribbles, your shooting percentage goes up 0.1%, so its all worth it.
   7. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5978483)
I've generally liked TBS' coverage. They have the crummy announcers sometimes but for the most part the production is good. And TBS has definitely knocked the pre and post game show format out of the park. By all accounts they kill with the NBA and they've done well with the MLB versions.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5978485)

i thought baseball was dying? :-)


And owners are poor!
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5978491)
It is a 65-percent increase over MLB/TBS’ previous contract.
And franchise prices continue to increase, yet some, even here the supposed home of ‘thinking fans’, insist that the owners can’t afford to pay the players what they are now, much less increase compensation.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5978497)
Trea Turner is a wonderful player, but 3.75 billion is just too much!
   11. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:47 PM (#5978501)
Trea Turner is a wonderful player, but 3.75 billion is just too much!


But it's a 500-year contract!
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 24, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5978513)
This is good for baseball; I wish the other Ernie Johnson was still calling Braves games on WTBS, circa 1982 or so. The Red Sox were (and are) my favorite team, but I got to know the Braves better than any team because I could watch 140+ of their games a year on basic cable. At a time when you couldn't watch baseball every night, having the Braves was awesome.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5978572)
It is a 65-percent increase over MLB/TBS’ previous contract.

At least somebody is confident about the future. Unless this Turner deal covers (I dunno) 50% more games I don't see why anybody would think that televised baseball is increasing dramatically in value at the moment.

A half-billion here and a half-billion there and evventually we are talking about real money but it is still kinda ... sobering (?) ... to realize that it's $18 M per year per team which doesn't get you even a full Jason Heyward season. Using the numbers cited, that's about a $7 M bump per team over the old contract and for MLB, about a 2% bump to total revenue. It's a 3-3.5% bump to the common/shared payment each team gets. (Chill, obviously other sources of revenue will be increasing as well, I'm not suggesting this is all the revenue growth they'll see, just marvelling at how "trivial" this one big deal is in the big scheme.)
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 24, 2020 at 06:15 PM (#5978574)
Trea Turner is a wonderful player, but 3.75 billion is just too much!
I assume Justin Turner is also included.
   15. McCoy Posted: September 24, 2020 at 06:35 PM (#5978583)
And Tina has to sing the national anthem
   16. . Posted: September 24, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5978600)
And franchise prices continue to increase, yet some, even here the supposed home of ‘thinking fans’, insist that the owners can’t afford to pay the players what they are now, much less increase compensation.


Thinking fans know how to do math and can calculate the fact that the contract is for $17.8 million per team per year, or something right around Nick Castellanos.
   17. Belfry Bob Posted: September 24, 2020 at 09:17 PM (#5978610)
Who was Turner bidding against? Themselves?
   18. Jay Seaver Posted: September 24, 2020 at 10:18 PM (#5978622)
I suspect every media company with a cable network the right size would want this package (USA for Universal/Comcast/NBC, Paramount Network for Viacom), maybe Amazon or YouTube, or ESPN or Fox might want to consolidate. Six or seven months of programming that people watch live with natural ad breaks is pretty appealing to everybody.
   19. Rally Posted: September 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5978697)
Thinking fans know how to do math and can calculate the fact that the contract is for $17.8 million per team per year, or something right around Nick Castellanos.


Not having any fans in the park this year probably is a loss of 114 million per team. Based on last year's 68.5 million total attendance, and a very wild guess of $50 per ticket sold (including lost profits on concessions and parking). If you have a better estimate, plug it in.

Paying players 60/162 of their salaries saves about 81 million on average, per team.
   20. VCar Posted: September 25, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5978705)
"Starting in 2022 we will let the networks choose the playoff teams at the end of the regular season!"


Yes, the Yankees only went 60-102 this year, but we're putting them in the playoffs anyway.
   21. VCar Posted: September 25, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5978706)
Trea Turner is a wonderful player, but 3.75 billion is just too much!
But it's a 500-year contract!


Well he's only expected to play 400 more but will get paid for the last 100 a la Bobby Bonilla.
   22. villageidiom Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5978764)
And Tina has to sing the national anthem

oh say can you see colin farrell is on great actor.
what so proudly we hailed when he starred in in bruges.
whose broad range and bright smile showed in hart's war. and swat.
or minority report. better than the three stooges.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5978771)

Not having any fans in the park this year probably is a loss of 114 million per team. Based on last year's 68.5 million total attendance, and a very wild guess of $50 per ticket sold (including lost profits on concessions and parking). If you have a better estimate, plug it in.


FWIW, Forbes has Gate Revenue and "Other Stadium Revenue" at around $4 billion last year, which would be $133M per team.
   24. bfan Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5978777)
A 65% increase to $535 million meant the contract was $348 million. That is an increase in dollars of $187 million. There are 30 teams. Assuming the home office (MLB central and the overhead) takes no cut, which is certainly wrong, this is roughly $6 million per team. That won't buy a bad middle reliever (per year, of course).
   25. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5978798)
Paying players 60/162 of their salaries saves about 81 million on average, per team.

But also working with your numbers, that's an average payroll around $130 and #23 puts average stadium/tix revenue at $133. That leaves local TV and the (I think) about $65 M take from common revenue to pay the rest of the expenses. I think the average team is doing OK and can handle a 1-year whack of $50 M.

I assume stadium advertising is included in the $133 M so some (pretty tiny) revenue is still being produced by the signs behind the plate and other spots that show up on TV.
   26. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 25, 2020 at 05:21 PM (#5978801)
And franchise prices continue to increase, yet some, even here the supposed home of ‘thinking fans’, insist that the owners can’t afford to pay the players what they are now, much less increase compensation.


It's obvious that players with long term contracts (8+ years) are overpaid in the last few-to-several years. In a perfect world, with fairness and equity, young stars wouldn't have to wait until free agency to hit the jackpot. Pay them more for their productive years, and pay them less for their "veteran" years.

I know this means that players be granted free agency from the beginning of their professional careers. It makes sense, though. If the Red Sox want to keep a Rafael Devers until he's 26, they'd have to pay him as if that is the case. If not, let him go to whichever team recognizes his worth.

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