Baseball Teams' Local TV Revenue Issues: Streaming Concerns? Player Salary Cuts?

For many, sports is just another form of entertainment. It's about performance, drama, context, and storylines.

While sports has received a great deal of attention in terms of value from TV platforms, sports consumers might become more efficient with their usage in the future.

Take Major League Baseball and regional sports TV networks.

Every MLB team gets around $100 million a year -- $60 million in national TV deals and around $40 million from local TV deals -- the latter coming primarily from regional sports networks.  This is according to Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.

If Sinclair Media Group's Diamond Sports Group continues to have troubles -- as it is likely to -- a huge piece of that $40 million could shrink or collapse. 



MLB is considering the idea of taking over operations of local streaming/cable TV operations. Could this affect all revenue generation for the teams -- affecting even player's salaries?

Major League Baseball is a major content provider to regional sports networks -- in terms of overall air time. Each of MLB's 30 teams has a big 162-game schedule -- not counting post-season.

Diamond owns 19 networks under the Bally Sports networks, which have the collective rights to 42 professional teams — 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA and 12 NHL.

Pay TV providers are either less interested in these networks or want a reduction in costs to carry them -- especially given cord-cutting and existing low profit margins to carry them.

The question is not just whether this will have a ripple effect on other sports down the line, but all cable TV networks programming overall. This could include new niche streaming services where some pro sports leagues are starting businesses.

Of course, this might affect all professional sports on TV -- the NBA and especially the NFL.

The latter continues to make major advertising and other revenue because much of the revenue generation goes through national TV platforms.

There are far fewer MLB baseball, NBA basketball, and NHL hockey games.

Consumers are increasingly choosier about paying for content -- linear TV, streaming or otherwise.  They might not think spending $15 a month to see all TV game-content from what might be just one local sports team is worth it anymore.

It's all about supply and demand and a new world of potentially cheaper TV shows and content.

Some entertainment hardball is on the horizon.

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