secured visa credit card wells fargo can you get prepaid credit cards suntrust credit cards for students credit card interest rate comparison calculator best unsecured credit cards bankruptcy prepaid credit cards with no fees ireland getting a credit card with bad credit does it hurt my credit score to open a new credit card hdfc credit card points rewards redemption catalogue commonwealth gold credit card insurance can i buy online with a prepaid credit card chase credit card for miles credit cards for people with average credit history credit card numbers starting 4117 capital credit card online banking tips for paying off credit card sony credit card mbna google tv chase sapphire credit card login find old credit card account number chase credit cards transfer balance zero foreign transaction fee credit cards how to cancel a victoria;s secret credit card how to transfer credit card balances to another card american express prepaid credit card application pay my zales credit card can you pay your old navy credit card bill store credit card vs debit card online purchase sams club credit card payment online no transaction fee credit card processing hdfc bank credit card offers indigo airlines activity diagram credit card processing system amazon app store us credit card pay bp credit card phone how do i apply for a macys credit card apply for instant approval credit card online statute of limitations for credit card accounts in california circuit city credit card payment address virgin air mile credit card chase closed credit card account balance pay my goodyear credit card lower chase credit card rates can i pay bank of america credit card at a branch best small business credit card with cash back 1st city credit union has limited your debit card credit card number length 16 credit one bank credit card customer service number where can i get a prepaid credit card at walmart interest expense credit cards tax deductible usbank rei credit card login good pay off credit cards right away credit card reader for ipad 2 new credit card laws 2010 late fees credit card processing retail stores ge credit card discount tires compare chase business credit cards best iphone 5 credit card cases post bankruptcy friendly credit cards paypal access card credit check american furniture warehouse credit card payment top rated rewards credit cards 2011 how can i order online without a credit card hsbc credit card sign up promotion credit card swipe iphone free best airline credit card promotions what is the best credit card to have right now itune account without credit card information ge money low rate mastercard credit card login choice credit card comparison credit card gold diamonds jp morgan chase credit card commercial hawaiian airlines credit card pay online first premier bank credit card bad credit credit card disclosure union plus credit card make payment credit card rebate singapore best southwest airlines credit card offer how to cancel credit one bank card wells fargo pay credit card online hsbc login credit card credit card processing reviews top ten do retail credit cards affect credit score pay my shell credit card payment target credit card log in page i want to apply for a chase credit card jquery validate credit card expiry date credit card billing cycle days chase 1 student credit card program rules regulations capital one online login credit cards where can i find my macy;s card credit limit how do i activate my navy federal credit union debit card chase mortgage credit card payment gop blocks freeze credit card interest rate hikes accept credit cards website free old navy credit card online login flagstar mortgage credit card chase credit cards login chase credit card account balance how do i make my credit card primary on paypal suze orman credit card calculator hsbc premier credit card contact prepaid credit card 5000 limit should i increase my credit card limit to raise my credit score apple credit card machine for iphone marriot credit card best business credit cards for good credit offers credit card credit card loans calculator charging for credit card transactions instant approval credit cards for people with no credit history minimum payment credit card change my credit card itunes my iphone london taxi credit card non-bank credit card acquirer pay my gape credit card bill online credit card low apr fixed can you buy a credit card gift card best credit card for gas stations advanta bank credit card payments credit card debt relief obama plan canada credit card processing services best buy credit card holder bank of america credit checks card account credit card payment authorization form doc credit card on paypal cash advance safeway everyday rewards credit card how many americans are in credit card debt today starwood preferred guest credit card 30000 federal reserve board credit card act of 2009 kardashian credit card scandal what are the pros and cons of using credit and debit cards intuit credit card processing on phone credit card application form template best buy credit card login hsbc login credit card cashback taxable list all mbna credit cards american express platinum credit card south africa marriott rewards credit card deals can you pay your federal taxes credit card which credit card is the best for air miles ocbc credit cards balance transfer application form business credit card offers without personal guarantee orchard secured credit card application status how to get out of credit card debt credit card with the best flight rewards unsecured post bankruptcy credit cards credit cards citibank login credit cards you can get with poor credit add credit card google market how to calculate credit card payment in excel capital one credit card default credit cards through regions bank gold credit card with diamonds how do i know if my credit card covers rental car insurance city bank secured credit card credit cards services lebanon best credit card balance transfers existing customers cheap online credit card processing how do i pay my halifax credit card online credit card compromised credit cards interest free year points credit cards canada hsbc credit card payment billdesk credit card designs wells fargo delta credit cards reviews verification code on credit card premier bank credit card review credit card with no annual fee and low interest rate in india prepaid credit cards shop online chase credit card cash advance limit can you pay honda credit card apply new business credit cards accepted credit cards at costco unsecured credit card offer bad credit make payment canadian tire credit card woman within credit card payment address keeping balance credit card good credit internet ready credit card machine iphone credit card processing with paypal credit card best cash back singapore credit card terminal for iphone canada fake credit card security codes numbers work credit card cancellation letter malaysia can you apply for two credit cards in the same day credit cards business fair credit credit card processing security standards track citi credit card status what is the best credit card for gas purchases pay metro pcs bill online credit card legacy visa credit card application best credit cards gas cash back best credit card for stay at home moms hsbc credit card approval criteria credit card printers south africa credit cards for travel points free credit report no credit card info required canada good credit card processing companies what type of credit card is discover anz american express credit card travel insurance rbs classic credit card apply online us air mileage credit cards amazon chase student credit card paying credit card online bmo credit cards for military veterans how do i change xbox live credit card security code on credit card location instant credit card approval use instantly credit cards travel rewards comparison household credit cards online apply credit card no credit history low apr approved bank of america online banking credit card alaska airlines credit card free companion fare credit card accountability responsibility and disclosure act of 2009 summary deutsche bank india credit card customer care nab interest free credit card transfer rate cash advance low interest credit cards chase credit card limit lowered how to use gift credit cards online credit card gift cards reviews credit card reform act of 2010 bill chase aarp credit card sign in world of warcraft credit card number is not a valid visa number indian overseas bank visa international credit card state farm credit card billing address amazon split payment multiple credit cards incipio iphone 4 case credit card online tracking hdfc credit card application natwest credit card machines for small business how to get a personal loan to pay off credit card debt west elm credit card at pottery barn can i pay my american eagle credit card at the store best fleet credit cards conocophillips credit cards application best credit card signup bonus 2012 credit card cid free credit card debt solutions rfid credit cards easily hacked with $8 reader axis bank credit card offers ebay can you use multiple credit cards paypal accept credit card payments anywhere with your iphone android or ipad cash discount credit card surcharge catalog credit cards bank of america travel rewards credit card bpi gold credit card credit limit i need a credit card right now bank america low interest rate credit cards credit cards for stay at home parents can;t change credit card on ps3 one credit card payment pay my phillips 66 credit card buy vending machine credit card basic credit card knowledge credit cards bankruptcy no annual fee value city furniture credit card payment center centon datastick credit card usb flash drive 32gb list of department stores with credit cards can you pay chase credit card payment chase bank american credit cards with chip and pin capital one credit cards contact information mastercard credit card numbers and security codes reduce credit card payments fast how do credit cards work video hdfc online credit card application status high risk offshore credit card processing apply orchard bank credit card online apply for barclays business credit card bank of america phone credit card dell credit card payment login marriott rewards premier credit card benefits credit card processing merchant fees where to find credit card validation number best way to accept credit cards pay credit card debt off quickly when to pay credit card united mileage plus visa signature credit card building credit credit cards billing address credit card means philippine national bank international credit card credit card points hdfc bank do prepaid credit cards work online poker barclay travelocity credit card login goodyear credit card application chase credit card offer good credit cards for people with ok credit credit card airline miles vs cash back credit cards balance transfer 0 life credit card providers in kerala 529 college plan credit card credit card company offers highest limits easy store credit cards to get approved for pay chase credit card on phone barclays online credit card payment india how to pay neiman marcus credit card online how long does it take to get a credit card from capital one free visa credit card numbers 2012 axis bank credit card secure code best credit card for travel rewards usa toshiba direct credit card payment hsbc online credit card statement philippines marriott premier credit card pay casual male xl credit card delta skymiles credit card login hollister credit card application settlement credit card debt irs pay credit card bill online by debit card rci credit card honda financial credit card payment credit card generator with cvv2 id square credit card payments reviews how to choose credit card machine find cvv credit card number what is a security code on a credit card verizon wireless credit card terminal free real credit card numbers that work 2012 what credit cards are accepted in cuba credit cards offer which of the following advantages hsbc credit card benefits best travel credit card 2012 canada my chase credit card british airways raymour and flanigan credit card pay bill 0 balance transfer credit cards discover racetrac credit card withdraw cash credit card citibank is it better to have one credit card or two credit card payment system works credit card with points for rewards need credit card number works any upromise credit card bank of america review hilton citi credit card login wireless credit card machines for craft shows credit cards for good credit no annual fee can you use prepaid credit cards on paypal amazon credit card 40 cash back hook up credit card machine internet metabank credit card balance how do cash advance in credit cards work is it bad to apply for two credit cards in the same day credit one mastercard reviews forum best beginner credit card 2011 how to pay hsbc credit card bill online in india big o tires credit card applies best cash back credit card 2009 iphone credit card processing paypal can you get a walmart credit card with bad credit royal bank of canada corporate credit cards get netflix without credit card xbox apply for home depot commercial credit card standard chartered credit card singapore hotline check my credit card statement online mastercard pet care credit card card credit maybank islamic best credit card for college students 2012 using credit card advantages and disadvantages get international credit card bangladesh best deals credit cards 0 purchases best iphone credit card processor rbs black credit card chase bank one credit card payment credit cards apr 0 credit card offers purchases balance transfers credit card sears payment uk credit card use in usa psn credit card safe best credit card processing on iphone credit card billing address what is a real credit card number and security code bank of america business credit card iphone 5 case with credit card pocket government credit card debt loans citizensbank credit card best credit card deals no annual fee close credit card accounts or leave them open alaska airlines credit card fees how do i change credit card info on psn slate credit card reviews credit card debt forgiveness tax american express blue credit card uk menards credit cards accepted credit card car rental insurance visa home depot credit card online access ny & company credit card payment 1st financial bank usa credit card online payment can you buy moneypak with credit card interest free credit card balance transfer chase advantage credit card define balance transfers credit cards how do i remove my credit card info from google play top 10 prepaid credit cards barclay bank us credit card consumer rights credit card collection can i use my wachovia debit card as a credit card kays jewelry credit card payment usaa visa credit card review first usa credit card phone number load prepaid card with credit card bank of america pay credit card bill online amazon credit card pay with points hardship letters to credit card companies xbox your credit card could not authorized worst credit card debt pay bofa credit card by phone fnb smart credit card interest rate chase amazon credit card benefits ba credit card surcharge credit card exchange rates uob pay aaa credit card bank of america best credit card acceptance iphone definition credit card apr best credit card for students to build credit check status chevron credit card how to pay down my credit cards chase bank online credit card payment take credit cards over the phone the credit card information you entered was invalid. please try again guild wars 2 icici bank credit card e statement best store credit cards after bankruptcy credit card numbers that work 2013 with cvv how does 0 apr credit cards work ge money credit card payment pay as you go credit cards us hooters credit card payment there free credit report without credit card information pnc points credit card log quickbooks credit card online processing credit card reform act of all time wiki apply for lowes credit card on line low interest secured credit cards spirit air credit card payment credit card swiper for iphone free dummy master credit card number reestablish ecards bad credit how to make a bank of america credit card payment online what is a credit card gateway can you pay a credit card bill with paypal sample letter freeze credit card interest visa credit card no credit history direct debit und credit card blain;s farm and fleet credit card compare credit card plans bp consumer credit card with pump rewards gold pearl credit card credit cards best rates ireland credit card loan calculator hack credit card numbers online why would you be denied for a secured credit card discover credit card student loan chrysler credit card test low interest consolidation loans for credit cards paying off credit cards too quickly walmart credit card bill pay phone number mbna sony credit card login asia miles credit card canada credit card photoshop tutorial can you pay sallie mae student loan credit card refurbished credit card processing terminals how to get approved for your first credit card why do i have to put credit card info for apple id free unsecured bad credit credit cards irving oil credit card chase continental one pass credit card obama credit card bailout alaska airlines platinum plus visa credit card carnival credit card points credit cards from chase debit card as credit card bank of america excel credit card payment template how to stop receiving prescreened credit card offers credit card opt out number paypal credit card swiper for iphone does toys r us have a store credit card apply first saving credit card ge money bank walmart credit card + complaints money transfer credit card paypal account taxi credit card corp woodside schwab credit card rewards program credit card reader for windows phone 7 cash back business credit cards canada apply barclays platinum credit card credit card number validation c# best airlines points credit cards credit cards that don;t charge overseas fees chase freedom business credit card rewards coach credit card was declined for an undetermined reason credit card no interest for 24 months conoco phillips 66 credit card login cash back credit card reward calculator home depot credit card application status credit card validator javascript firestone tires credit card first data credit card paper rolls find credit card number online walmart credit cards prepaid costco credit card processing what is the easiest dept store credit card to get hsbc credit card center colombo air mile credit card best credit card network work home walmart visa credit card phone number crown jewelers credit card review best international credit card australia nab lost or stolen credit cards
Home Pete Toms LWIB: MLB Clubs "Cutting the Cord", Plus Tidbits

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 419 guests online

Atom RSS

LWIB: MLB Clubs "Cutting the Cord", Plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 0
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 13 December 2010 15:27

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in BizBall”, more on the “cord-cutting” debate, plus tidbits.


If you are a regular reader of LWIB you know that one of my favourite subjects this year has been the importance of cable TV to the biz of baseball. The recent 20 year extension of the Texas Rangers deal with Fox Sports Southwest for a reported $1.6 billion put an exclamation point on the trend of MLB franchises reaping huge revenues for local broadcast rights from Regional Sports Networks. (RSNs) Comcast, the country’s largest cable provider, shares equity with several MLB franchises in RSNs that they operate. MLB launched their own cable channel, MLB Network, in January 09. The iN Demand cable consortium owns a minority stake in MLB Network. Some clubs have launched their own RSN. In a nutshell, MLB is deeply invested in cable and vice versa. Two weeks ago I brought attention to reports that, for the first time ever, there were consecutive quarterly declines in the universe of multichannel video subscribers. (aka “cord cutting”) A debate ensued amongst the media punditry over whether the “cord cutting” was a result of the growing popularity of Over-The-Top TV (aka, watching TV over the web) or simply belt tightening by consumers. Most pundits opted for the latter explanation.

The windfall of revenues in MLB from local broadcast deals has resulted from a belief amongst multichannel video providers and programmers that live sports is key to stemming “cord cutting”. LWIB, Glenn Enoch, the vice president for integrated media research for ESPN, was everywhere in the media media disseminating the message that the recent reports of cord-cutting are exaggerated (media pundits agree that, to date, in the overall cable universe, cord-cutting is virtually nil), particularly amongst sports fans. From Brian Stelter in The New York Times:

Seeking to understand the cutting of cable cords, ESPN has waded into the Nielsen Company’s audience sample and concluded that the cancellations are currently a “very minor” phenomenon.


Sporting events are particularly hard to watch free online, so it comes as little surprise that the Nielsen sample found that among heavy and medium viewers of sports, the research showed what Mr. Enoch called “zero cord-cutting.”

ESPN’s findings in the Nielsen “cord-cutting” data is consistent with the sports industry’s hope/belief that sports programming is indispensable to cable TV providers and programmers. This, the same strategy that has been enormously lucrative for many MLB clubs in recent years. However, LWIB there were reports which included remarks from very senior cable and sat executives, that argued against the prevailing wisdom of live sports programming being the antidote to “cord-cutting”. Some cable and sat executives openly questioned if sports channels, which command the highest subscriber fees, are actually contributing to “cord-cutting”. From John Ourand at the SportsBusiness Journal (Note, Melinda Witmer is Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief programming officer. Derek Chang is DirecTV’s executive vice president of content strategy and development):

Cord cutting is a real threat that could wind up hurting sports networks more than any other cable channels.


“Cord cutting is potentially one of the biggest issues that the sports industry needs to think about,” said Witmer, speaking on a separate panel at the conference. “[Sports rely] on a large consumer base, a substantial percentage of which don’t consume sports, to pay for it and to provide the advertising base that will pay for it. For every consumer that wants to watch cooking shows and decides that cord cutting satisfies that itch, the loss economically to sports providers is disproportionate to the potential loss of the network providing cooking programming.”


Both Chang and Witmer said the high cost of sports networks has pushed consumer bills to a point that it increases the likelihood of cord cutting.


No doubt the Padres, Dodgers and Astros are amongst the clubs intently monitoring the cable landscape. The Padres local rights deal with Cox Communications is entering its final year. Padres owner Jeff Moorad is reportedly hoping to triple the current, reportedly, $16 million annual fee from Cox. The Padres are counting on one, or some, of DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T to compete with Cox since the FCC closed the “terrestrial loophole” that allowed Cox to monopolize the Padres local rights. As well, the Padres are hoping that Fox Sports Net will be interested in acquiring their rights. (see more here and here) The Dodgers current local deal with Fox expires in 2013. For obvious reasons, long term planning for the Dodgers is, at best, entirely speculative. But during the McCourt divorce proceedings, court filings revealed that the club was considering launching their own cable channel once the current Fox deal expires. The newest Comcast RSN, CSN Houston, will launch in 2012. The Astros and Houston Rockets reportedly own a combined 77.5% of the channel. While Comcast is the dominant cable provider in the Houston DMA, they service less than ½ of that pay TV subscriber universe. (see here) Impending carriage negotiations with sat providers, telcos and other cable providers will be important to the financial success of the new channel. But will the Astros, Padres and Dodgers soon discover that the demand from cable and sat for more sports channels has been maxed out? Ben Klayman recently asked that question for Reuters:

However, with rising sports programing costs sparking a chorus of complaints, count News Corp Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey among those skeptical that more sports networks can be sustained.

"People are carrying that a dimension too far," he said at the Reuters summit. "Everybody falls in love with it.

"You've had decades where it's been a quantity game and everybody's adding," he added. "You're actually now heading to a quality game and as you have more choice you really want to figure out how do you have quality channels as opposed to a strewn level of niche channels."

Perhaps the recent comments from industry heavyweights Melinda Witmer, Derek Chang and Chase Carey are only a continuation of the never ending battle between teams/leagues and multichannel providers/programmers over the rising cost of sports programming. Or maybe their cautionary words will prove prescient. Maybe sports programming has become too expensive for cable. Either way, the question of whether sports programming is stemming, or contributing to “cord-cutting” is crucially important to MLB. Lastly, again from the aforementioned Ben Klayman report:

However, it's hard for leagues to ignore the rising broadcast rights being paid for games, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said.

"The value interest in sports keeps going up ... if you look at the ratings, the affiliate support, the advertising support, the revenue," he said.

"There seems to be a high economic support level for both national leagues and regional or local sports, so I don't know where it ends."


  • A bit more than one year ago I blogged about how collusion (or more accurately, allegations of collusion) amongst owners in the free agent market was still a point of contention between the PA and the owners. Liz Mullen reported in the SportsBusiness Journal that the PA is a little happier about the current state of affairs in the free agent market:

It’s early, but there are signs that the new rules that the MLB Players Association negotiated with MLB to speed up the pace of the free agent market are working, MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner said last week.

“As a preliminary matter, there seems to be an increased amount of activity at this stage of the season, and we view that as a positive,” Weiner said.

Weiner said that he wasn’t in a position to quantify the increased activity but that it included more discussions and more exchanged offers on players, as well as more deals being reported. “That is an initial impression, not a final conclusion,” he said.

  • It appears that the fate of the orphaned Triple A Portland franchise has been settled. Padres owner Jeff Moorad signed an MOU with the San Diego suburb of Escondido that will result in a new ballpark constructed for the minor league team. The new park is scheduled to be complete for the 2013 season. This season and next the franchise will play out of Tucson. See Ballpark Digest.
  • It was announced during the Winter Meetings that MLB and MiLB have extended their PBA (professional baseball agreement) through the 2020 season. The agreement was set to expire in 2014. Boring stuff, right? I think so, but in reading about this I learned something. Did you know that MiLB kicks money up to MLB from ticket revenue? From Josh Leventhal at Baseball America: “A source who requested anonymity said the only significant change will be on the tax rate minor league teams will pay major league clubs on ticket revenue. The rate was supposed to increase from 6.5 percent to 7 percent after the 2014 season, but will remain at 6.5 percent for an additional two years, the source said.”
  • LWIB, Joel Hammond of Crain’s Cleveland Business complained in a few different posts of the growing competitive imbalance in MLB. Mr. Hammond’s disgruntlement arose from the Red Sox acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. I understand how it irks an Indians fan to see Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia and Victor Martinez depart for greater riches but I’m not so certain that the Red Sox moves this off season are a sign of increasing competitive disparity. After all, as Ken Belson noted, the BoSox also shed $40 million plus in salary obligations.

Pete Toms is senior writer for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook




Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?