MLB Close to Catching the NFL in Total Revenues
It seems nearly unthinkable. In less than ten years, Major League Baseball has improved its business model to the point where it could possibly meet or surpass the National Football League in total revenues.
MLB is projected to reach revenues in excess of $6 billion for 2007. By comparison, the NFL is expected gross around $6.3 billion in 2007-'08. As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Selig believes Jan. 19, 2000 was a landmark date in turning the long corner toward labor peace and competitive balance. At an owners meeting that day, he was granted unlimited economic powers to attempt to solve the growing disparity between big and small markets.
Owners also voted unanimously to create the sport's own Internet company, Baseball Advanced Media (BAM). At the time, they never dreamed how that area of the game would grow exponentially, producing revenues that continue to soar.
Selig wouldn't reveal the exact revenue produced by BAM this year, but confirmed that it is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And 50 million viewers already have signed up for the television launch of The Baseball Network in 2009.
It should be noted that the initial figures projected for the launch of The MLB Network was set to be 47 million households. Still, take either one of those figures in and it will be the biggest cable channel launch in history.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.and is an available writer for other media outlets.
He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.