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de norvasc en colombia donde comprar clozaril colombia comprar ampicillin sin receta foro donde puedo comprar pastillas brand amoxil donde comprar lasix en monteria donde puedo comprar azulfidine en panama compra de pastillas amoxil en venezuela donde puedo comprar ampicillin peru comprar viagra y pagar con paypal januvia comprar quito donde puedo comprar las pastillas hyaluronic acid en usa lanoxin administrativos que orden de diligencias de carácter tributario donde comprar allopurinol en santiago lamisil urgentes que requieren orden fiscal donde comprar noroxin costa rica mejor sitio para comprar albenza generico comprar condones con cialis jelly comprar coreg entrega inmediata donde comprar pastillas abortivas cozaar donde puedo comprar pastillas vasodilan bogota donde puedo comprar clozaril misoprostol comprar motilium viña del mar se puede comprar actonel sin receta en venezuela venta de femara en quito sin receta como comprar kamagra chewable en una farmacia algo parecido a la kemadrin sin receta como comprar omnicef en guadalajara donde comprar methotrexate sin receta en madrid se puede comprar clomid en mexico comprar paxil en farmacias comprar silagra generica en farmacias comprar tofranil femenino en uruguay compra de pastillas female cialis donde comprar atorlip generico contrareembolso compra de provera en barcelona donde comprar pastillas viagra super active caracas como comprar orlistat en farmacia en españa geriforte syrup donde comprar en lima donde comprar combivent forocoches naltrexone juridicos documentados compra vivienda compra de tadalis sx en santa cruz bolivia donde puedo comprar estrace en republica dominicana compra de kamagra polo en españa contrareembolso avapro se vende con o sin receta comprar orlistat en la ciudad de la plata como comprar cytotec en zaragoza el seroquel se vende sin receta amaryl se vende sin receta en chile donde se puede comprar la viagra jelly himplasia comprar en tijuana donde puedo comprar terramycin bogota 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salvador donde comprar shallaki 2012 comprar trial erection packs 1 transferencia bancaria donde puedo comprar cytotec sin receta en puerto rico se vende el plavix sin receta top avana donde las puedo comprar comprar colchicine sin receta barcelona se ocupa receta para comprar extra super levitra en mexico como conseguir panmycin sin receta medica en ecuador se ocupa receta para comprar diltiazem donde puedo comprar toradol en costa rica donde comprar ginette-35 forocoches compra segura de cardura en españa comprar generico moduretic contrareembolso pastillas bupron sr donde puedo comprar quiero comprar npxl en barcelona comprar colospa contrareembolso comprar shallaki sin receta gibraltar comprar amantadine barata contrareembolso venden imuran sin receta en mexico comprar lipotrexate jalea donde comprar bentyl barcelona lariam tabletas sin receta donde puedo comprar pastillas seroquel en honduras allegra donde comprar ecuador comprar chloroquine contrareembolso zaragoza donde comprar ampicillin en argentina comprar nizoral arica donde comprar pastillas colospa en lima fosamax generico sin receta donde comprar brand amoxil generico en mexico donde comprar kamagra polo generico en españa comprar lamisil en santa cruz de tenerife donde puedo comprar cialis super active en cancun donde comprar flagyl er generico en sevilla donde puedo comprar septilin en españa tadacip se vende sin receta en venezuela comprar tegretol y priligy donde comprar chloramphenicol con garantia comprar duphalac original sin receta comprar female viagra en barcelona sin receta ventolin sin receta en chile compra de florinef contra reembolso comprar vytorin la plata como comprar prednisone chile se necesita receta medica para comprar wellbutrin en mexico comprar adalat original sin receta como comprar finax en madrid sin receta como comprar meclizine sin receta compra de malegra fxt plus segura donde puedo comprar levothroid en la paz bolivia donde comprar naltrexone nicaragua viagra jelly como comprar en venezuela comprar gyne-lotrimin sin receta en francia donde comprar fertomid en granada comprar serevent en las palmas de gran canaria donde puedo comprar desyrel en mexico df conseguir zithromax sin receta argentina comprar seroflo online buenos aires comprar plendil por telefono en argentina cuanto vale la phenergan sin receta minocycline donde comprar compra y venta de prinivil foro comprar femara generico en españa comprar benicar y pagar contra reembolso levitra soft sin receta medica en chile donde comprar proventil en pasto necesito recipe para comprar zanaflex venden reminyl sin receta en mexico comprar lasuna en barcelona sin receta donde comprar kamagra polo o levitra venta levothroid sin receta chile comprar benadryl en estados unidos comprar zanaflex en trujillo peru en que farmacia puedo comprar cialis comprar cialis extra dosage contrareembolso zaragoza como comprar la pastilla pilex en argentina como conseguir promethazine sin receta comprar keppra en badajoz comprar cefadroxil en jaen comprar buspar en estambul comprar rumalaya liniment pago contrareembolso actos sin receta en farmacias aceon la venden sin receta comprar zaditor en puebla comprar entocort en saltillo donde puedo comprar olanzapine en colombia bogota comprar reglan barquisimeto comprar sinemet sobres donde comprar finast en murcia compra suprax online en españa necesito receta para comprar silvitra en mexico quiero comprar pastilla viagra super active comprar clonidine tucuman puedo comprar hydrochlorothiazide en cualquier farmacia donde comprar viagra lasuna donde puedo comprar misoprostol mestinon como comprar furosemide por telefono donde puedo comprar brand levitra en los angeles como comprar pastillas dramamine en españa quiero comprar caverta en guatemala se puede comprar elavil sin receta en mexico female viagra se vende sin receta en argentina lexapro pastillas comprar comprar baclofen para abortar en españa comprar paroxetine en españa barata donde puedo comprar la pastilla zyprexa en peru como conseguir albendazole sin receta medica en argentina comprar periactin generico en españa contrareembolso se puede comprar synthroid en la farmacia sin receta se puede comprar motilium sin receta cipro comprar en monterrey donde puedo comprar evista en veracruz comprar diarex sin receta en buenos aires donde comprar lisinopril sin receta en madrid como comprar januvia en caracas donde comprar chloromycetin en gibraltar quiero comprar avodart españa como compro las pastillas sinemet comprar kytril valencia en mano comprar pastillas cardura en medellin como se puede comprar la alli comprar cialis super active sin receta en cordoba como comprar vasotec sin receta en madrid como puedo comprar remeron en la farmacia donde puedo comprar benfotiamine en bogota colombia comprar dulcolax en alicante comprar serevent paginas seguras donde comprar lozol en asuncion cymbalta diario barato donde puedo comprar pristiq en acapulco sitios seguros para comprar silagra donde comprar mycelex-g generico en sevilla donde comprar shuddha guggulu en lima 2012 comprar flonase madrid sin receta mejores paginas para comprar isoniazid dapoxetine se puede comprar en farmacias quiero comprar female viagra en paraguay comprar vytorin hoy se vende pamelor en farmacia sin receta como puedo comprar ceftin en la farmacia como comprar avodart en farmacia como comprar avodart en barcelona donde comprar malegra fxt en gdl se puede comprar erexor a contrareembolso las pastillas topamax donde las compro como puedo comprar apcalis sx en argentina comprar suprax en maracaibo donde comprar el shampoo avapro en mexico como hago para comprar las pastillas rumalaya gel quiero comprar florinef como comprar meclizine sin receta en barcelona donde puedo comprar las pastillas clonidine comprar brand cialis farmacias ahumada quiero comprar amaryl en barcelona donde comprar synthroid misoprostol mexico donde puedo comprar amoxil en acapulco como puedo comprar la pastilla slim tea donde comprar vasodilan en lima benadryl pastillas donde comprar donde comprar aldactone en tunja comprar motrin en tenerife donde comprar tenormin en pereira digoxin donde comprar mexico comprar levitra extra dosage requiere receta medica comprar reminyl en mar del plata bentyl comprar sin receta cuando se puede comprar tadalis sx generico como comprar o remedio trazodone donde puedo comprar prograf en ecuador donde puedo comprar rosuvastatin en cuenca comprar bystolic generica contrareembolso necesito comprar pastillas minocycline puedo comprar minocycline en cualquier farmacia seguro comprar cialis por internet comprar prilosec sin receta en valencia comprar viagra plus con receta comprar hydrochlorothiazide online buenos aires se ocupa receta para comprar quibron-t comprar valtrex sin receta en malaga donde comprar lukol en andorra como comprar tinidazole en nicaragua donde puedo comprar duetact panama comprar yasmin para abortar kamagra chewable andorra sin receta como comprar benzac sin receta en argentina donde comprar tofranil generico mexico comprar isoptin caracas se puede comprar rosuvastatin a contrareembolso comprar bactrim para hombres extra super cialis donde lo compro comprar silagra femenino argentina donde comprar generico de neurontin donde comprar vermox en valledupar puedo comprar pariet sin receta en farmacia compra de abilify por telefono ranitidine barato en españa donde comprar naltrexone shampoo mexico comprar sinemet sin receta almeria donde puedo comprar brand levitra en puerto rico farmacia que venda procardia sin receta comprar temovate en zaragoza comprar prinivil online con seguridad comprar eurax sin receta zaragoza differin se puede comprar sin receta medica donde comprar elimite en pereira como comprar finpecia en la farmacia comprar crestor oral jelly contrareembolso comprar depakote sin receta malaga como puedo comprar shallaki sin receta se puede comprar cytoxan sin receta en la farmacia se necesita receta para comprar pastillas elavil conseguir prednisone sin receta argentina donde comprar geriforte syrup en bilbao comprar celebrex y priligy comprar pastillas keflex peru el viagra extra dosage se vende sin receta en mexico pyridium urgentes que requieren orden de fiscal hydrochlorothiazide de compra y venta como comprar olanzapine en puerto montt las mejores paginas para comprar confido comprar prednisone sin receta en francia concepto de coreg y orden comprar minocycline en tiendas de madrid comprar artane generico españa contrareembolso comprar pastillas viagra soft en chile se requiere receta para comprar alli en mexico carafate juridicos documentados compra vivienda usada de donde comprar cialis extra dosage compra de pyridium diario se necesita recipe para comprar acivir pills rumalaya liniment de investigacion sin orden del fiscal donde puedo comprar grifulvin v en madrid se necesita receta medica para comprar calan en mexico comprar liv 52 pago contrareembolso comprar zocor por internet en chile comprar zyvox jelly contra reembolso donde puedo comprar sumycin en crema donde puedo comprar la pastilla nexium y cuanto cuesta donde comprar cabgolin pfizer donde puedo comprar kytril y cuanto cuesta donde comprar abilify en veracruz donde puedo comprar colospa panama donde puedo comprar actonel en colombia bogota donde comprar antabuse en lima 2015 como comprar cleocin en lima donde comprar amantadine de forma segura como conseguir compazine sin receta en madrid como comprar albenza en bolivia dapoxetine e tamoxifeno comprar comprar provera sin receta en mexico como conseguir hydrea en mexico sin receta como puedo comprar kamagra super en venezuela comprar doxycycline femenina madrid es necesario receta medica para comprar cymbalta como comprar bactroban en bogota comprar doxycycline generico en sevilla donde puedo comprar pastillas levlen kemadrin xr 300 mg donde comprar donde comprar shampoo serophene caverta donde lo compro donde puedo comprar danazol en los angeles comprar aricept mercadolibre donde puedo comprar viagra sublingual quito comprar malegra dxt en barcelona en mano comprar nimotop se necesita receta donde puedo comprar proscar en morelia comprar compazine el pais donde puedo comprar la pastilla tegretol en cd juarez donde comprar lotensin en malaga necesito comprar rogaine en lima depo ralista se vende sin receta como comprar trandate por internet en argentina donde puedo comprar las pastillas hydrochlorothiazide en guatemala donde comprar pastillas januvia en peru comprar alli en cusco foro donde comprar elimite online donde compro forzest en honduras comprar kamagra gold para mujer como puedo comprar lisinopril en guatemala donde comprar kamagra chewable generico en españa como comprar celadrin por internet en mexico comprar female viagra generico contrareembolso norvasc comprar en tijuana donde puedo comprar meclizine en caracas venezuela donde comprar zofran tijuana se necesita receta medica para comprar dramamine en españa comprar precose en españa con paypal donde puedo comprar uroxatral en leon gto como comprar celexa en venezuela comprar sinemet por transferencia comprar vasotec tabletas necesito comprar viagra professional en barcelona comprar sumycin foro como comprar la pastilla eulexin en argentina shampoo tenormin donde lo comprar comprar mentat en viña del mar comprar pastillas benzac en usa compra de rumalaya forte en ecuador en que farmacia puedo comprar sumycin en guatemala comprar cialis sublingual baratos puedo comprar panmycin sin receta medica comprar clozaril requiere receta comprar cytotec en farmacias de madrid pastillas proventil comprar comprar temovate sobres grifulvin v donde comprar en mexico donde compro hydrochlorothiazide en honduras donde se puede comprar zestril en panama se necesita receta medica para comprar la pastilla detrol piden receta para comprar zocor comprar ralista sin receta buenos aires finast comprar en buenos aires capital el extra super levitra se puede comprar sin receta medica donde compro requip en mexico como comprar olanzapine sin receta en farmacias mycelex-g donde lo comprar comprar zenegra en barranquilla duphalac de compra y venta que no se consideran comerciales comprar serophene en mano en barcelona donde comprar una pastilla de oxytrol comprar slimex en oviedo a donde comprar augmentin comprar viagra jelly en oaxaca en donde se puede comprar bactrim comprar lamictal sin receta barcelona donde se compra la pastilla feldene puedo tomar zanaflex sin receta como comprar liponexol sin receta medica comprar clonidine online sin receta comprar cefixime inhalador online provera comprar en monterrey comprar zyprexa femenino en chile zocor sin receta andorra donde conseguir diarex sin receta comprar prometrium en bariloche como comprar diarex barata donde puedo comprar pamelor venezuela farmacias donde puedo comprar eldepryl myambutol te la venden sin receta donde compro las pastillas doxycycline en lima comprar actos pago contra reembolso comprar cyklokapron en suiza comprar celadrin mujeres compra lasuna zaragoza comprar phexin de confianza imitrex comprar en tijuana cystone se vende en farmacias sin receta comprar levitra jelly sin receta usa como comprar cyklokapron en valencia comprar imitrex viña del mar comprar extra super viagra en cuernavaca donde puedo comprar aspirin pastillas cefadroxil donde comprar en medellin comprar benfotiamine sin receta valencia 5 phenergan en orden cronologico de la obra el matadero compra female viagra contrareembolso españa donde puedo comprar las pastillas cardizem en monterrey donde puedo comprar xeloda colombia donde comprar serophene 5 mg en mexico donde comprar prednisone en tegucigalpa donde comprar mobic en alicante donde comprar bio lamictal donde comprar kemadrin en madrid como comprar paxil en las farmacias donde puedo comprar las pastillas bactroban en bogota epivir-hbv urgentes que requieren orden de fiscal donde compro sarafem en bogota cleocin juridicos compra 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TOMS: Why MLB is Thriving.... and Dying PDF Print E-mail
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 10 February 2014 15:02

MLBEarlier this winter I listened to a sports radio segment where 2 Toronto sports pundits attempted to explain the seemingly counter - intuitive news that MLB annual revenues have climbed to upwards of $8 billion.

On the one hand, they noted, steadily diminishing national TV ratings (including ASG and WS), reveal that baseball is clearly less popular. And hasn’t the NFL, long ago, and by a wide margin, supplanted MLB as the dominant pro sports league? And wasn’t it, after all, inevitable? Isn’t baseball anachronistic? From a slower, analogue, monolithic popular culture?

On the other hand, they understood why MLB revenues have skyrocketed. The biggest factor being the enormous increase in TV $$ from both national, and especially, local deals. Plus, attendance is stable, at near-record levels. And yes, almost ironically, slow, staid MLB has better exploited the internet than any of the other so-called Big 4.

They’re right, on both counts. Yes, baseball is dying. And the evidence is not found in the diminished national TV ratings (TV ratings are down for all programming except the NFL) but in who, and who isn’t, watching. Old guys, not young guys, like baseball. Jonathan Mahler was amongst those who reported this fall that the median age of the 2012 WS TV viewer was 53.4. Perhaps more telling is the steady, long-term decline in the number of kids playing baseball.

But it is precisely because MLB fans are old that business is booming. The huge boost in MLB TV $$ comes from us old guys who subscribe to Pay TV. We are footing the bill for the recent spate of MLB mega deals with local RSNs. We aren’t the cord-cutting, digital natives who have never paid for content. They believe that paying $100/month to watch video is stupid. Earlier in the year Joe Flint reported that, “By 2015, almost half of all television viewing will be done by folks over the age of 50…” The migration of local MLB broadcasts from free over-the-air TV to Pay TV was inevitable. Why? Because MLB fans can afford Pay TV. We are baby boomers, the most affluent generation in history. And baseball fans are the most affluent of sports fans. We complain about our cable bills, we’re old, so we’re allowed. But we’ll still pay for the nightly, pleasant, familiar, tribal, ritualistic pleasures of watching our team on our big TVs, in our comfortable basements. It feels good.

While there is debate about the future prospects for the Pay TV industry, under pressure from OTT, potentially one, or some of, Google, Apple and Aereo, and politicians and regulators sabre-rattling over channel bundling…. in the present, it’s still thriving. And as long as MLB continues to aggregate large TV audiences of purchasers of financial services, luxury autos and ED remedies , there’ll be plenty of money in it for them.

You can follow me on Twitter @PeteToms


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.

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LWIB: Dynamic Ticket Pricing and the Secondary Market in MLB, Worldwide Draft Update, Plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 27 February 2012 18:03

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in Bizball”, dynamic pricing and the secondary market, worldwide draft update, plus tidbits.

DYNAMIC PRICING & THE SECONDARY MARKET

Seemingly every week I mention that another team has either implemented, or expanded their use of, dynamic pricing of tickets. Another subject that I frequently bring attention to is the challenges that the secondary ticket market pose to many MLB franchises. Despite the reported approximate $60 million annually that BAM earns from their formal partnership with StubHub, and the avalanche of qualified sales leads it generates, many clubs believe that secondary ticketing is killing their primary sales. My piece from December on MLB and secondary ticketing included this quote (courtesy of SBJ) from Braves Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Derek Schiller, “I don’t believe there is any bigger obstacle or issue, any bigger threat to the professional team sports marketplace and industry as a whole…This is the single biggest issue facing our industry….The amount of dollars at risk is growing near exponentially. And we absolutely as an industry — and not just baseball — need to manage it.”

The Giants were the first MLB franchise to implement dynamic pricing, using it on a limited basis for the 09 season. This season, 17 teams will use dynamic pricing. 10 of those teams will use dynamic pricing to set the price of all single-game tickets. Initially, the motive behind dynamic pricing was both to increase the number of tickets sold and the average sale price. More recently, clubs are also implementing and expanding the use of dynamic pricing to limit the amount of ticket inventory resold on the secondary market. LWIB Danny Ecker reported on the Cubs decision to use dynamic pricing this season for 5,000 bleacher seats. According to the piece, “Expanding that model to the entire ballpark could mean recouping as much as $11 million a year from resellers.” And, “Teams are looking at (dynamic pricing) to capture some of that secondary market that they're not capturing,” says Colin Faulkner, the Cubs' vice president of ticket sales and service…”

WORLWIDE DRAFT UPDATE

January 9 was the date of the first meeting of the International Talent Committee. The co-chairs for the committee are MLBPA ED Michael Weiner and MLB’s senior executive on labour matters, Rob Manfred. According to the press release, “…the International Talent Committee is responsible for examining a number of areas related to the procuring of international players including but not limited to the exploration of the possibility of an international draft, improving the education and acculturation programs of Clubs at their international academies and the development of appropriate country-by-country plans for playing and development opportunities for players prior to draft eligibility.” This committee exists as a direct result of the new CBA, which contemplates either an expansion of the Rule 4 draft, or the introduction of a wholly separate “international” draft. (The Rule 4 currently includes Canada and Puerto Rico). After years of attempting to control club spending in the Rule 4 via his office’s “slot recommendations” commissioner Selig succeeded in the last round of negotiations in implementing fundamental changes to the acquisition of amateur talent. Beginning this season, clubs exceeding spending limits in both the Rule 4 and international free agent market will be severely penalized by MLB. In addition, MLB foresees the implementation of a draft in the Dominican Republic as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce age/identity fraud and bonus skimming there. LWIB, commissioner Selig commented to Baseball America on the much discussed worldwide draft, "It is inevitable. I would like to see it. We have made some significant progress to that end. When we went to the draft in 1965, it was to create a more level playing field. We've done that, and the same thing will have to happen internationally." Josh Leventhal added that there is plenty of opposition to a worldwide draft, both within, and outside of, MLB.

….many front-office officials have said they neither want an international draft nor are confident that MLB has the ability to pull it off.

The Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the other Latin American countries all have their own issues with laws, player registration and investigations that would need to be worked out. Then there are agreements with Asian baseball governing bodies that would have to be worked out, including Japan, Korea and Taiwan, all of which have their own professional leagues.

Some major league club officials think an international draft will penalize teams that work hard in Latin America and have invested more resources into scouting the region. However, many teams, trainers and agents have seen the writing on the wall the last couple of years that an international draft was behind MLB's efforts to reform Latin America, even if MLB didn't always explicitly frame it that way.

Also LWIB, Zachary Levine examined how the Astros attempt to greatly increase the quality and quantity of players they recruit in Latin America is being impacted by the aforementioned changes in the CBA.

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Last Week in Bizball: The Padres and Fox Sports San Diego, plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:34

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in Bizball”, the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego, plus tidbits.

PADRES & FOX SPORTS SAN DIEGO

The Padres have concluded an agreement with the soon-to-launch Fox Sports San Diego. As a result, the Padres are going to see a big boost in local TV revenues from the reported $15 million they received last season from Cox. Beyond that, reports on the details of the deal vary greatly.

As mentioned last week, Bob Nightengale reported in USA Today that the value of the Padres/FSN deal is $1.5 billion over 20 years. LWIB Jay Posner reported that Nightengale’s numbers are exaggerated. According to Posner, the Padres will receive a 20% equity stake in the new channel (common in recent local rights deals with RSNs). Posner reports the Padres rights fee in the initial year of the deal is $30 million, with a signing bonus boosting it to $40 million. Again, according to Posner, the value of the annual rights fee will escalate about 4% annually, bringing it to approximately $65 million in its final year.

LWIB, Bill Shaikin reported that the deal includes an upfront $150 million signing bonus for the Padres. According to Shaikin, Jeff Moorad intends to use Fox’s money to complete the purchase of the franchise from John Moores. You likely know that the owners recently, and surprisingly, delayed approval of the completion of the sale. Commissioner Selig, in the cases of Tom Hicks and Frank McCourt, has set a precedent of forbidding owners to invest Fox’s money outside their baseball franchises. And so, MLB’s approval of both the transfer of ownership of the Padres, and their pending deal with Fox, are in limbo.

LWIB, Barry Bloom reported that the Padres pending deal with Fox spans 20 years and is worth $1 billion. According to Bloom, the initial annual rights fee will be $30 million and by the end of the deal it will have climbed to $70 million. Bloom also reports that MLB is delaying approval of the deal over the aforementioned concerns as to how the signing bonus is invested. Bloom pegs the bonus amount at $200 million. What stands out in Bloom‘s piece is his reporting that the deal is being complicated by Moore’s desire to retain an interest in the new channel while simultaneously completing the sale of his remaining 51% stake in the Padres to Moorad.

Despite all this, it is expected that Fox Sports San Diego will broadcast the Padres Home Opener on April 5th.

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Last Week in Bizball: The RSN Windfall and MLB's Luxury Tax, Plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Pete Toms   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 00:00

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in “Last Week in Bizball”, the RSN windfall and competitive balance, plus tidbits.

THE RSN WINDFALL AND COMPETITIVE BALANCE

Commissioner Selig often trumpets the healthy state of competitive balance in MLB. Amongst other facts, he would cite the 9 different World Series champions in the last 11 seasons. Commissioner Selig would also argue that, under his guidance, MLB has achieved greater competitive balance by narrowing the revenue gap separating the largest and smallest markets. This has been accomplished with increased sharing of local revenues and the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT), or as it’s more commonly know, the Luxury Tax. In the recently concluded CBA negotiations, Selig successfully bargained for the implementation of a soft cap, similar to the CBT, in the Rule 4 draft. As well, the new CBA provides greater incentive for clubs to keep big league payroll at, or below, the CBT threshold. Cynics argue that redistributing revenues and taxing “overspending” isn’t about competitive balance but rather limiting player compensation. Since 10, I’ve been blogging about The Importance of Regional Sports Networks in MLB. A few weeks ago I noted a very prominent sports media consultant’s prediction that the windfall of RSN money flowing to MLB will soon see industry revenues increase from $7 billion annually to $9 - $10 billion. So, the inevitable questions is, will this windfall of billions of dollars in RSN revenue work against MLB’s efforts to “level the playing field”?

Some believe that the impact on competitive balance of soaring local media rights will be negligible. After all, each team’s current deal will eventually be up for renewal, and when it is, each will benefit from the same factors driving up rights fees (competition amongst MSOs & telcos for live sports, plus threat of OTT alternatives) which exist in every market. For instance, LWIB Bob Nightengale reported that, “…even the San Diego Padres— playing in the 26th largest market in baseball — are, pending MLB approval, poised to sign a new deal with Fox Sports that will guarantee them $75 million a year for the next 20 years.” The Padres current deal with Cox reportedly earns them $15 million annually. (For more on the Padres new partnership with FSN, see here) But, while each team will eventually “cash in”, the value of an RSN, or a rights fee, is not based on viewers or ratings but on the number of subscribers. And the number of subscribers is determined by carriage deals and, perhaps more critically for MLB, market size. Again from Nightengale, "It does have the potential to hurt competitive balance," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, MLB's longest-tenured owner. "The big TV deals are basically a function of market-size and competition. There's no way that Kansas City can get a deal comparable to what the Angels did."

In recent years there has been talk about an “emerging middle class” in MLB. In December 10, Eric Fisher noted that during that calendar year, a record number 7 nine-figure player deals had been concluded (a number matched last year). Of those deals he wrote, “…nowhere in that list are the New York Yankees and Mets, Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers — four clubs typically among the highest earners in MLB. That quartet of teams was involved in nine of the prior 19 $100 million-plus contracts. Just as in the standings this past season, and the San Francisco Giants-Texas Rangers World Series matchup, MLB’s economic middle class continues to grow more assertive.” If we assume that there is a growing middle class in MLB (I’m not so sure), is it largely due to the annual redistribution of approximately $400 million from big revenue to small revenue franchises? And, with local media revenues soaring, will MLB and the MLBPA need to be more vigilant in ensuring that those revenues are being reported and redistributed? You can read my previous posts for more details, but an ever increasing number of team owners also own stakes in RSNs, or the club itself has equity in an RSN. (Comcast initiated the trend of offering clubs equity in their RSNs and FSN has followed) In such relationships, there are, inevitably, lies, damn lies, and related party transactions. In other words, how much local media revenue is being underreported to both limit club’s exposure to revenue sharing and boost the profitability of their RSN investment? For instance, if the Padres are set to earn $75 million annually for their local TV rights, how much are the NYC teams taking in? SNY, the RSN controlled by Mets owners Sterling Equities, reportedly paid the Mets a $68 million rights fee last year. That will reportedly rise to $83 million by 15. Again, according to Nightengale’s report, “The Yankees say their TV rights are worth about $85 million to $90 million a year from YES, while the Red Sox insist their TV rights from NESN are worth less.” To state the obvious, if these reports are accurate, there are hundreds of millions of dollars that are not being accounted for in calculating revenue sharing payments.

Underreporting of local TV rights is nothing new in MLB. The sale of the Cubs to Tom Ricketts was reportedly delayed over a dispute of the value of the rights fee paid to the club by broadcaster WGN (both entities owned by Tribune Co. at the time). In 10, sports economist Andrew Zimbalist wrote, “In 2008, approximately $400 million was transferred from the high- to the low-revenue teams. The higher a team’s revenue, the more it has to contribute. The lower the revenue, the more it receives. The principal terrain of disputation is related party transactions, where team owners also own the regional sports network (RSN) that broadcasts the team’s games. It appears that several teams underreport the market value of the RSN revenue received by tens of millions of dollars and, in one case at least, this underreporting appears to exceed $100 million by a substantial margin.”

If indeed, MLB Teams are Media Companies, and you believe that revenue sharing contributes to competitive balance, how MLB calculates RSN revenues is about to become much more important and contentious. The MLBPA will also be closely scrutinizing the reporting of these revenues because underreporting obviously reduces the amount of money available to players.

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LWIB (Part II): Are the Wilpons and Katz Keeping the Mets? Plus Tidbits PDF Print E-mail
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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 12:14

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week, a second edition of “Last Week in Bizball”. Can Wilpon and Katz keep the Mets?, plus the tidbits.

ARE WILPON AND KATZ KEEPING THE METS?

Where to start with the Mets woes? Irving Picard, representing the victims of Bernie Madoff, is attempting to extract close to $400 million from Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz (aka Sterling Equities). The Mets operating losses over the past 2 seasons are reportedly $120 million. In November, the Mets arranged a bridge loan from BofA for $40 million. MLB also loaned the club $25 million and both are expected to be repaid next month. The baseball club and Sterling’s RSN, SNY, combined, have a reported $375 million coming due in a few years. Attendance and ticket prices at Citi Field have dropped dramatically the past few seasons. This upcoming season will see the Mets slash year-over-year payroll by $50 million plus and the team is expected to stink. They also folded a minor league team this off season. Last month it was reported that the Mets had retained the services of “turnaround specialists” CRG Partners. CRG was one of the key players in the bankruptcy auction of the Texas Rangers. David Einhorn agreed to invest $200 million in the Mets, but the deal collapsed. But, unlike with Tom Hicks and Frank McCourt, MLB hasn’t wrested the Mets away from Wilpon and Katz. Oh well, we cynics think, eventually being an FOB won’t be enough to save the Mets owners. They‘ll soon go bust and the creditors will take over.

But, LWIB there was buzz amongst sports industry insiders that Wilpon and Katz aren‘t leaving MLB any time soon. In this SportsMoney video segment, big time sports banker Sal Galatioto of GSP (no, not MMA) predicted that the many reports of the Mets “near bankruptcy” are “greatly exaggerated”. Galatioto foresees the Mets current efforts to raise $200 million via the sale of 10 minority shares in the team @ $20 million per succeeding. He also sees a lot of value in the Mets media rights. Sterling owns approximately 70% of the RSN (SNY) which broadcast Mets games. TWC and Comcast own the balance. The banker notes the guaranteed value of these cable rights deals, “...when you have a media deal, like a cable rights deal, you’re going to get paid, whatever your rights fee is whether the product is good or the product isn’t good.”

LWIB, Richard Sandomir reported in the New York Times that the Mets are close to finalizing the sale of the $200 million in minority shares. Richard confirms the earlier LA Times report that Steven Cohen (also bidding for the Dodgers) is set to become a Mets minority investor. But Richard’s scoop, and the more interesting development, is that the Mets aforementioned partners in SNY will invest $80 million in the baseball franchise. Howard Megdal explained that TWC and Comcast are motivated to help Sterling maintain control of the club for a few reasons. First, because Sterling owns both the team and a majority of SNY, the RSN lowballs the club’s rights fee, which is good for TWC and Comcast. And, if Sterling is forced to sell the team there is no guarantee SNY would continue to control the Mets local TV rights. Losing the Mets would make SNY worthless because they don’t own the rights to any other properties of significant value.

LWIB, Bill Madden wrote that the expected $2 billion sale price of the Dodgers will be a big help to the Mets owners. According to Bill’s unnamed “industry insider”, if the Dodgers are worth $2 billion, the Mets must be worth $3 billion. “What that means,” said the insider, “is that the Wilpons can now go back to their banks, point to the value of the team, and say: ‘Lend us more money.’”

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