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In the Midst of Rebuilding, Astros Lose Leverage in CSN Houston Negotiations PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 14:13

Astros

In advance of the overall strategy for the sale of the Houston Astros to Jim Crane, former President and CEO George Postolos, and the Houston Rockets approached NBC Sports Group about the creation of a new regional sports network that would become Comcast SportsNet Houston. The deal which sees the Astros own 46.384 percent, the Rockets owning 30.923 percent, and NBC Sports Group owning the balance at 22.693 percent was smart given the rapidly changing landscape of media deals. With the move to the American League West, the Astros would be competing with the Rangers and Angels, both of whom had landed media rights deals at a reported total of $3 billion. While the Astros wouldn’t be garnering that much, they at least would be able to potentially top out in excess of $1.5 billion over the life of the agreement.

But, a couple of things happened along the way that has CSN Houston not reaching the revenues anticipated. In fact, the Astros and Rockets could potentially have the new RSN a loss leader, as opposed to a key revenue stream.

While the Houston Rockets made the playoffs this season, the Astros are years from the postseason. As part of the sale to Crane, then owner Drayton McLane began unloading player payroll. By the time the sale was approved in November of 2011, the team had finished the season with 106 losses and attendance ranked 19th at 2,067,016. In 2012, the Astros again finished with over 100 losses (107, to be exact), and attendance had dropped to 28th with a total of 1,607,733, a whopping decline of 459,283 in paid attendance or -22% from 2011. And, it appears that the team will surpass the 100 loss season mark this year.

All of this has played into the hands of carriage negotiations for CSN Houston. According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, the “Astros/Rockets/NBC Sports Group partnership is low on funds and faces ‘tough decisions’ about its future,” according to Astros owner, Jim Crane. Currently CSN Houston is not being carried by DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse or regional carriers such as Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable. Currently, the new RSN is only being carried on approx. 40 percent of available 2.2 million televisions in the Houston area due to the impasse. Due to limited carriage, Houston Rockets ratings were down one-third for the season that recently ended.

Imagine that.

The issue is one of conflicting interests. The owners of CSN Houston, knowing that carriage deals of up to 20 years carries with it the need to get the most while they can, are sticking to their guns on getting the best rate possible. According to reports, that could be as high as $3.40 per subscriber—a lofty sum, especially in light of the dismal performance by the Astros, and the possibility that it could be several years before the rebuilding gets the club into competitiveness. The owners of CSN Houston are looking at the market that has not only provided those $3 billion deals for the Rangers and Astros, but $2 billion for the Mariners as part of the majority purchase of ROOTS Sports NW, the Dodgers waiting for approval on a $6-$8 billion media rights deal with TWC, and the outcome of a potential bidding war between FOX Sports and Comcast for a new Phillies deal. It is actually the cumulative weight of all these media rights deals, coupled with the self-inflicted wounds that the Astros have taken on with the fan base as part of the rebuilding that place the Astros/Rockets and NBC Sports Group at a considerable disadvantage.

And, it’s not like having Jim Crane say that CSN Houston is going to have to make “tough decisions” doesn’t add more leverage to those carriers that the RSN is trying to get top-dollar for. Ask yourself: if you know that an RSN is wounded, that ratings are down, and public perception of the club is low, why would you give in and offer a high rate that you are stuck with for 20 years?

And then there’s the “perception” matter. The carriers on the sideline see the Astros, Rockets, and MLS Dynamo that are carried on CSN Houston as “a small market” and therefore, not worth the amount being sought as a regional channel offering. New Astros president Reid Ryan said of the negotiations, There’s a real desire from Jim to get it right because (Crane) knows if he doesn’t get it right, it could affect this club for a very, very long time,” Ryan said. “There’s a perception out there nationally that Houston is a small market, and what we’re hearing is that people want to treat us as a small market. This is the fourth-largest city in America. It’s kind of a slap in the face to call Houston a small market.”

There is possible movement on the matter, but it’s hard saying when that movement may come, if at all. On Monday, representatives from the Astros, Rockets, NBC Sports Group and Suddenlink Communications met with Houston Mayor Annise Parker. The meetings were described as “positive” but that no resolution was reached, and none were expected soon.

The Astros may be part of bad timing as well as negotiating from a position of weakness. As we’ve been saying, it’s possible that the media rights bubble may be close to bursting. When you couple that with the Astros poor showing in the standings and other matters such as bad PR with the sudden, unexpected resignation of George Postolos, the Astros may get broader carriage, but not at the rate they feel they deserve, or want. It's just one more thing on top of many others that have the Astros needing to slow down with all the change.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.

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USA vs. Canada World Baseball Classic Game Most-Watched Non-Postseason Game in MLB Network History PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:20

World Baseball Classic

Every few years, the debate arises over the popularity of the World Baseball Classic. “It’s a marketing tool to grow the game globally”… “Fans outside of the U.S.A. are more passionate and that’s because in the U.S., we simply want Major League Baseball’s regular season to start so we can catch all the stars of the game”…

And while MLB Network has a large subscriber base, a large swatch of the US still doesn’t have access to it to watch. So it’s somewhat surprising that the league-owned network got a decent ratings win this past weekend.

Team USA’s win over Canada on Sunday in the Pool D elimination game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was the most-watched non-Postseason game ever on MLB Network, averaging 760,000 viewers, up 26% from the previous high, a New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox game on October 2, 2012. The USA vs. Canada game peaked with 1.25 million viewers during the final innings, from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. ET, which included the USA’s four-run rally in the ninth inning.

The strength of 15 World Baseball Classic game telecasts helped MLB Network to its most-watched weekend ever, drawing an average of 252,000 viewers* from Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10.

MLB Network’s two other 2013 World Baseball Classic game telecasts featuring Team USA are among the top five most-watched non-Postseason game telecasts in the network’s history. Friday’s Mexico vs. USA matchup averaged 673,000 viewers, the network’s second-most viewed non-Postseason game telecast, while Saturday’s USA vs. Italy game drew an average of 576,000 viewers. The Dominican Republic’s defeat of Puerto Rico on Sunday averaged 513,000 viewers, the most-viewed non-USA game telecast of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

So, it will be interesting to see what the ratings do if Team USA makes it to the finals. After all, they’ve done no better than fourth (that was 2006). America loves a winner. If they do pull it off, it could be a game changer for not only the WBC, but MLB Network.

All figures per Nielsen; weekend viewership includes Friday-Saturday from 6a-6a and Sunday from 6a-3a


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Explosion in Sports Media Rights Means $3 Monthly Fee Increase on DirecTV PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 14 February 2013 22:50
DirecTV
The first real signs that regional sports
network media rights fees are trickling
down to customers comes via DirecTV

Maybe the sports television rights bubble hasn’t burst quite yet, but the explosion in how much regional sports networks (RSNs) are expecting from the carriers is finally hitting your wallet.

Whether it is the Rangers ($3 billion), Angels ($3 billion), Astros with the Houston Rockets ($1.6 billion), Padres ($1.2 billion), or Dodgers ($7-$8 billion), and YES’ recent $3 billion valuation, in baseball alone, the massive rights deals being brokered with RSNs have created battles between the networks and carriers. When it hits the carriers, it eventually winds up in your cable or satellite bill.

The first significant case of this is happening with satcaster DirecTV. In August, DTV began adding a $3 a month surcharge for RSNs in markets that had more than one regional sports network. This mostly just impacted larger markets, but now, it will affect all.

Beginning this spring, DTV will expand the fee to all existing customers, meaning a $36 annual increase for consumers. And, DirecTV will not be the only one. As reported by Multichannel News:

Other distributors have followed DirecTV’s lead with the RSN charge – Verizon’s FiOS TV began implementing a $2.42 monthly charge for RSNs in California, Texas and Florida in February, with plans to expand to its remaining sates in March. In Maryland and Virginia, the surcharge will take effect in April.

So, while at the outset it was said that maybe the rights fee bubble may not yet have burst, it’s creating a problem as new deals across the sports landscape begin to have cumulative effect. Just last week, FOX Sports San Diego, which is the RSN that the Padres inked their $1.2 billion deal with, finally landed on DISH. DirecTV was one of the last large carriers to pick up TWC SportsNet, the RSN that was created with the Los Angeles Lakers as their key programming. The rights deal for the Lakers is a reported $4 billion. The Rockets, now nearly halfway through the season are not on DTV via CSN Houston, and the Astros—the largest stakeholder in the new Houston RSN—are about to begin the 2013 season not on DirecTV’s program menu.

Deals will continue to be brokered as media rights deals expire, but the battle to get them on the major carriers, or getting the massive deals that have been recently inked, will continue to be an issue.

Of course, none of this is good for fans. While the financial flexibility is something every sports fan loves to see their favorite club have, if it means a large spike in their cable or satellite TV bill, it comes with a price. The pin is positioned near the bubble. When will it make contact is the question.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on TwitterTwitter

 
The 2013 MLB on FOX National Broadcast Schedule Released PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:19

MLB on FOXWith the beginning of Spring Training, MLB’s network partners are gearing up for the 2013 regular season. Today, MLB on FOX released their 2013 national broadcast schedule for the “Saturday Game of the Week.”

The 24-week schedule, includes eight consecutive weeks of primetime coverage for the second straight year leading to the 84th MLB All-Star Game. Every U.S.-based team makes at least one appearance this season, and at least one at home during the prime time stretch which begins in late May.

MLB on FOX regional coverage debuts on Saturday, April 6 with a three game schedule that features rematches of both 2012 League Championship Series and a key A.L. West showdown.  That day, the defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers host the runner-up New York Yankees, and the World Champion San Francisco Giants welcome the St. Louis Cardinals, while Los Angeles Angels’ with Josh Hamilton returns to the Lone Star State as the Halos travel to face the Texas Rangers.

Primetime coverage of the 2013 season begins Saturday, May 25 (7:00-10:00 PM ET) with five contests featuring the Washington Nationals and N.L. Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper hosting their division rival Philadelphia Phillies, David Freese and the Cardinals in Los Angeles to take on Matt Kemp and the Dodgers; the New York Mets welcoming the Upton brothers and the Atlanta Braves; the Oakland Athletics visiting the Houston Astros, the American League’s newest member; and an interleague tilt with the Chicago White Sox at home against the Miami Marlins. The primetime schedule also includes interleague games on Saturday, June 15June 22 and June 29, and culminates on July 13 with five games, including an N.L. Central battle between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  In all, MLB on FOX presents 11 interleague games on eight dates.

The schedule on Saturday, June 1 features the first of this season’s record five Yankees/Red Sox rivalry clashes. It was during an April game on FOX last season that the Yankees, trailing Boston 9-0 after five innings, stormed back with seven runs in the seventh and eighth to notch the improbable 15-9 win.  The Bosox and Bombers also square off on July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 7 and Sept. 14.

The Nationals, Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds are each scheduled to make a maximum nine appearances on FOX, while the Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers are scheduled for eight appearances. As always, the final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as “wild card” dates, allowing FOX Sports and MLB to choose games that have postseason implications.  Potential selections include Giants-Yankees on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Angels-Rangers and Cubs-Cardinals on Saturday, Sept. 28.

In addition to its regular-season coverage, FOX Sports broadcasts the 84th MLB All-Star Game, live from Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, on Tuesday, July 16 (7:30-11:30 PM ET), the American League Championship Series and the 109th World Series.

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE THE ENTIRE NATIONAL BROADCAST SCHEDULE FOR THE 2013 MLB REGULAR SEASON

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FOX Sports San Diego and DISH Reach Deal to Carry Padres, Clippers, and Ducks Programming PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 17:00
Dish

FOX Sports San Diego and DISH today announced that as of April 1, 2013, DISH San Diego customers will have access to the Padres, Clippers and Ducks, plus other local sports events for the Southern California franchises.  FOX Sports San Diego will be available for local DISH customers with the America’s Top 120 Plus and Latino Dos packages. Financial terms were not released.

The Padres receive $200 million in upfront money as part of the Fox Sports San Diego rights deal valued $1.2 billion over 30-years. The club has a 20 percent ownership stake in the regional sports network.

“We're delighted that DISH is making Padres on FOX Sports San Diego available to their valued customers,” said Henry Ford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX Sports San Diego. “On Opening Day 2013 Padres baseball will be delivered to more households than ever before.”


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Dodgers, TWC Announce Landmark TV Deal Creating SportsNet LA PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 28 January 2013 13:12

Dodgers

As anticipated, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable today announced a new regional sports network with the working name of SportsNet LA that will launch at the beginning of the 2014 Major League Baseball season. In addition to being the exclusive local home for all of the Dodger games, SportsNet LA will provide comprehensive behind-the-scenes Dodger programming, featuring more insights, analysis and commentary. The landmark agreement is worth a reported $7-$8 billion, making it the most lucrative RSN launch in MLB history. The agreement with TWC is subject to certain closing conditions.

The deal has not yet been approved by Major League Baseball over concerns involving a capped amount of revenue-sharing attached to the deal. That issue surfaced as part of the bankruptcy process when Frank McCourt formerly owned the club. It is not believed that the current state of MLB not approving the deal will scuttle it entirely, but without league approval, the possibility of some structural contract changes could come about to address concerns.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s charter distributor, and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal. In addition, in return for agreeing to make payments over the life of the deal, TWC will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for the new network and will have certain branding and programing rights with respect to the network, and therefore, will guarantee subscription fees. TWC will also provide certain non-game production and technical services to American Media Productions, LLC (AMP), the arm of the Dodgers ownership that was created to launch the RSN.

Mark Walter, Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said, “We concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want - more content and more Dodger baseball - was to launch our own network. The creation of AMP will provide substantial financial resources over the coming years for the Dodgers to build on their storied legacy and bring a World Championship home to Los Angeles. Just as we are actively transforming the team and the stadium, we want the Dodgers to be exhibited on the very best sports network in the country - one that will provide an unrivaled fan experience.”

Todd Boehly, a principal owner of AMP, said, “We are greatly pleased that Time Warner Cable, the largest distributor in the marketplace, has come aboard to support the Dodgers and SportsNet LA as our charter distributor. Their presence in Los Angeles will be invaluable in helping us serve Dodger fans and our community with excellence.”

“We are delighted to support the Dodgers and their ownership group in their launch of SportsNet LA. The Dodgers have one of the most passionate and loyal audiences in sports, and we look forward to helping deliver this new network to their fans,” said David Rone, President of Time Warner Cable Sports. “This deal, like our Lakers’ deal, furthers our efforts to attain greater certainty and control over local and regional sports programming costs.”

“The launch of the new regional sports network is a historic development for the Dodgers and our passionate fans,” said Stan Kasten, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Our commitment from day one has been to build the Dodgers into the best team possible, both on and off the field. Our fans deserve the best - the best players, the best baseball, and the best experience - whether that’s at the newly renovated Dodger Stadium or on television.”

“Our mission is to have the most fan-friendly sports programming, and we welcome ideas and suggestions from our Dodger Community. We look forward to sharing updates with fans in the coming months. In the meantime, we remain very excited about the upcoming 2013 season where we will be showcasing our incredible new roster and the many enhancements to Dodger Stadium, as well as continuing our commitment to broadcast excellence with our current partners Fox Sports and KCAL 9.”


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Dodgers Set to Announce $6-$7 Billion TV Deal on Thursday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 20:57

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable will announce a new television contract that will have the team starting its own channel. While terms will not be officially released, it has been known for some time that the Los Angeles NL club would pull in $6 billion to $7 billion making it by far the most lucrative local broadcast deal that has ever been reached in baseball.

What makes the deal even more amazing is that TWC had already inked a $4 billion broadcast deal that sees the Los Angeles Lakers at the heart of the programming. All told, TWC will be committing between $10-$11 billion to two Southern California franchises.

For the Dodgers, the effects are already being felt. While the club saw a 2012 end of year payroll of $129,080,186, ranking them 8th out of the 30 clubs, they have already planned to go into “Yankee territory” for 2013. In interviewing Dodgers President Stan Kasten at the Winter Meetings he said that there was “a good chance” that they would break the Luxury Tax threshold  adding, “We’re not done yet.”

What’s interesting is how revenue-sharing could possibly be capped, something that MLB was very concerned about when the Dodgers were looking at the deal prior. According to the LA Times, that issue opened the door for TWC:

The Dodgers’ current contract with Fox Sports expires after the 2013 season. The team had discussed a new deal with Fox last fall, worth at least $6 billion over 25 years. However, as MLB and the Dodgers debated how much of that money would have to be contributed to baseball’s revenue-sharing program, the Fox exclusive negotiating window expired, enabling Time Warner to initiate negotiations with the team.

Fox was believed to be willing to restructure its offer but was not believed to be willing to significantly raise the amount. The Time Warner Cable deal is believed to be worth between $6 billion and $7 billion.

What has been on the lips of many sports fans is, will deals like this rain down like money from heaven? The answer is, no. Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest market. The Dodgers are a storied brand. Frank McCourt had depressed the potential of the club. The franchise was on the cusp of a new television deal. The new owners have exceptionally deep pockets and are doing everything to renovate not only Dodger Stadium but the roster, as well… it was a perfect storm for the largest deal in history to happen. Don’t expect it to occur again.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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News Corp Purchases 49% of YES Network with Option to Buy Majority Later PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:10

YES NetworkWhen market for media rights exploded, beginning with the Big Ten and then eventually making its way to MLB via the Texas Rangers and Angels (both $3 billion deals), questions surfaced asking, what would YES Network be worth? Today, that answer became closer to reach.

News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and Yankee Global Enterprises today announced an agreement that calls for News Corporation to acquire a 49 percent equity stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES), which launched in 2002. Reports around the deal prior to the announcement set YES’ value at $3 billion. The YES Network delivers exclusive live local television coverage of New York Yankees baseball and Brooklyn Nets basketball, as well as sports-related programming.  

The media rights agreement is subject to Major League Baseball approval.  With News Corp saying that the investment is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

“We've long been a believer in the unique appeal of sports entertainment. Partnering upstream with rights holders is even more important today in the dynamic media marketplace in which we compete.  This is a tremendous opportunity to enhance News Corporation’s industry-leading portfolio of sports properties, while also strategically re-entering the New York market,” said James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation. “The YES Network represents the gold standard for regional sports networks and is a pioneer in sports media.  We look forward to working with Yankee Global Enterprises, the network’s management team, and all of our partners to build on a decade of success and take the YES Network to even greater heights.”

Hal Steinbrenner, Chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises, said, “This transaction underscores the great value we and our partners created in establishing the YES Network and sets the network on the path for even greater achievements in the future.  We are excited to have News Corporation as a partner.  Its stature and acumen in sports broadcasting on a global scale is unmatched.  We look forward to the many opportunities for growth and development that this investment by News Corporation will bring to YES.  The Steinbrenner family expects to have a continuing, long-term ownership stake in the YES Network and we will continue our yearly commitment of fielding a championship caliber team for decades to come.”

The announcement of the minority purchase of YES ties in with news that FOX, which is owned by News Corp, is looking to launch an all-sports network that would compete with ESPN. As first reported by Bloomberg, News Corp. last year secured rights to the Pac-12 Conference and Big-12 Conference games and owns 20 regional sports networks. The company in October won TV rights to soccer’s World Cup in 2018 and 2022. FOX Sports is also working to secure a mega-deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers which could eclipse any of the sports media deals that have been recently brokered in baseball.

For those wondering if Yankees games would become part of any FOX cable network to take on ESPN, think again. The YES Network also announced a media rights agreement that will keep Yankees baseball on the YES Network through 2042. 

But, while the agreement is to keep the Yankees on YES, there’s nothing to say that eventually News Corp could not eventually become a majority owner. According to today’s announcement after three years, News Corp may acquire an additional stake in the YES Network that could bring its ownership to 80 percent, at which time Yankee Global Enterprises would retain a significant minority stake in the network.

Currently, YES Network airs live Yankees and Nets games to approximately 9 million households in the teams’ television territory in the New York area. Outside of the New York area, the YES Network also distributes a variety of national programming to millions of homes across the country. 


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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The 2012 World Series Broadcast Schedule PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 22 October 2012 23:36

2012 World Series logo

The following is the national broadcast schedule for the 108th World Series between the American League Champion Detroit Tigers and the National League Champion San Francisco Giants.  FOX Sports will provide national coverage of the Fall Classic.  ESPN Radio will provide complete coverage of all World Series games.  MLB International, MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive World Series coverage.

Day

Date

Air Time/First Pitch (ET)

Game/ Site

Network

Wednesday

Oct. 24th

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 1 @ SF

FOX

Thursday

Oct. 25th

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 2 @ SF

FOX

Friday

Oct. 26th

OFF DAY

Saturday

Oct. 27th

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 3 @ DET

FOX

Sunday

Oct. 28th

8:00/8:15 p.m.

Game 4 @ DET

FOX

Monday

Oct. 29th

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 5 @ DET

FOX

Tuesday

Oct. 30th

OFF DAY

Wednesday

Oct. 31st

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 6 @ SF

FOX

Thursday

Nov. 1st

7:30/8:07 p.m.

Game 7 @ SF

FOX

Italics above indicate if necessary.

* Please note that the schedule above is tentative and subject to change based on postponed and/or suspended games.

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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With Yankees in the Mix, TBS Sees Ratings Increase for LCS Coverage Over 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 19 October 2012 15:36

LCS

TBS reports today that the American League Championship Series (ALCS), between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees is up considerably over their postseason coverage from last season, but then, that should be expected. This year, TBS saw the Yankees, a ratings powerhouse nationally, along with the Tigers. The ALCS averaged 5,924,000 total viewers, an increase of 28 percent over last year’s average of 4,612,000 total viewers for the network’s coverage of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), but that included the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.  While strong baseball markets, and the Cardinals have exceptionally strong history, there was bound to be a bump in this year’s ALCS coverage. Still, a 28 percent increase is nothing to sneeze at. The network’s ALCS coverage averaged a 3.8 U.S. household rating, up 31 percent over an average 2.9 U.S. household rating for the NLCS last year.  

Additional ALCS highlights provided by TBS add some context in their favor in regards to when the games were played:

  • In 2012, TBS aired two ALCS games in primetime (Saturday’s Game 1 and Tuesday’s Game 3) and two afternoon telecasts (Sunday’s Game 2 and Thursday’s Game 4).
  • In primetime, the Yankees/Tigers games averaged a 4.1 U.S. household rating and 6.6 million total viewers.
  • The two afternoon telecasts averaged a 3.3 U.S. household rating and 5.2 million total viewers.
    In 2011, TBS aired five NLCS games in primetime and one contest during the day.

Yesterday afternoon’s ALCS Game 4 (4-7:48 p.m. ET) averaged a 3.5 U.S. household rating and 5,251,000 total viewers. Locally, the ALCS Game 4 telecast registered a 30.6 metered market rating in Detroit – the highest local rating for any market during the 2012 MLB Postseason on TBS – and an 8.7 metered market rating in New York.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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