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Upcoming Interview: Tony Petitti, President and CEO, MLB Network
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 13:26
Tony Petitti

Tomorrow, MLB Network will stream into approximately 50 million households, making it the largest cable channel launch in history.

To coincide with MLB Network’s launch, The Biz of Baseball will be publishing shortly an interview with Tony Petitti, the President and CEO of MLB Network.

(UPDATE: The interview with Tony Petitti is now online)

Petitti joined the MLB Network in April of this year after serving as the Executive V.P. and Executive Producer for CBS Sports, where he oversaw all daily operations, including production, personnel and editorial content. In January 2008, Petitti assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations of CSTV and was instrumental in its transformation to the CBS College Sports Network.

Topics include the process leading up to the channel launch, whether Bob Costas is being considered for the MLB Network, how Petitti is approaching programming direction as MLB Network competes with MLB’s broadcast partners, what the new network is doing to approach advertisers during the recession, where negotiations are at on bringing MLB Network to Canada and other international markets, whether there will be fantasy baseball programming coming to the new network, and what the long-range forecast is for MLB Network.

Look for the interview to be published shortly on BizofBaseball.com

(see our catalog of interviews, including former commissioners Fay Vincent and Bowie Kuhn, owners Lewis Wolff and Jeff Moorad, general managers Billy Beane to Mark Shapiro, broadcasters Bob Costas to Charley Steiner, and many, many others)


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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

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Happy Holidays, From The Biz of Baseball
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 25 December 2008 14:45
The Biz of Baseball

I, and all of those that are part of the Business of Sports Network, which includes BizofBaseball.com, want to wish you, and your families, a Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

It was a pleasure to see you visit us in 2008, and  we look forward to seeing you in 2009.

Look for updates shortly on the upcoming MLB Network (see some of the channels that the network will be broadcast on), new interviews, and of course, updates daily on all things baseball off the diamond.

All the best,

Maury Brown
President
Business of Sports Network
Bizball LLC

http://www.bizofbaseball.com

http://www.bizofhockey.com

http://www.bizofbasketball.com

http://www.bizoffootball.com


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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

Subscribe in Bloglines


 
Maury Brown on XM 175, WGBB Long Island. MLB Winter Meetings, Sabathia, Burnett, and Rodriguez Signings. MLB and the Recession
Written by the Staff   
Sunday, 14 December 2008 17:15

XM and WGBBMaury Brown, the president of the Business of Sports Network, and BizofBaseball.com will be on two separate radio programs Sunday evening.

At 6:30 pm ET (3:30pm PT), Brown will be on XM Satellite radio channel 175.

For those in and around Long Island, he will be on WGBB 1240 AM at 9:05 ET.

Topics will include a recap of the MLB winter meetings, how the Yankees and Mets have fared after landing key free agent pitchers in C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, J.J. Putz, and Francisco Rodriguez. How the recession has influenced Major League Baseball will be a key topic.

To recap...

  • XM175 at 6:30 pm ET (3:30pm PT)
  • WGBB 1240 AM at 9:05 ET

The Biz of Baseball is part of the Business of Sports Network. For details on our interviews, latest new on MLB, the NFL, the NBA,and the NHL from outside the lines, check www.businessofsportsnetwork.com for information and links to the Network's sites.
 
The Biz of Baseball: Live from the Winter Meetings
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 04 December 2008 16:26

The Biz of BaseballStarting on Monday, the MLB off-season kicks into high gear as general managers, execs, those looking to work in baseball, and those selling products for baseball, decend on Las Vegas for the annual MLB Winter Meetings.

The Biz of Baseball will be filing regular reports from the Winter Meetings daily.

Businesses and individuals attending the meetings are encouraged to contact Maury Brown in order to exchange information, or provide information for possible articles on BizofBaseball.com.


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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

Subscribe to The Biz of Baseball

Add to GoogleAdd to My Yahoo!

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Maury Brown on XM 175. Citi Field, New Marlins Stadium, Barry Bonds, Free Agent Market
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Written by the Staff   
Monday, 24 November 2008 21:59

XM 175Maury Brown of the Business of Sports Network and BizofBaseball.com will be on XM Satellite Radio 175 at 11:40pm ET, 8:40pm PT Monday night to talk the biz of baseball.

Topics for tonight’s show include the naming rights deal between the Mets and Citigroup in the wake of Citigroup’s bail out by the government. The agreement between the Mets to name their new ballpark Citi Field is the most lucrative deal in U.S. sports history.

Also up for discussion, the Marlins have cleared one of the last legal hurdles for financing of their new ballpark in Little Havana on the current site of the Orange Bowl. Will the Marlins make the 2011 target date for completion of the new ballpark? Tune in and hear.

Even players that are no longer on an MLB roster are making the news. Today, a U.S. District judge threw out five of 14 charges against Barry Bonds involving perjury and steroid use. What does it mean for the current all-time home run king?

Finally, super-agent Scott Boras believes MLB is a “myopic” world where the realities of the continued slide in the economy don’t play a part in the free agency market. Is Boras right, wrong, or is the truth somewhere in the middle.

Remember, tune into XM Satellite Radio 175 at 11:40pm ET, 8:40pm PT to hear the discussion.


The Biz of Baseball is part of the Business of Sports Network. For details on our interviews, latest new on MLB, the NFL, the NBA,and the NHL from outside the lines, check www.businessofsportsnetwork.com for information and links to the Network's sites.
 
Upcoming Interview: MLB Pitching Coach Rick Peterson
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 12 November 2008 00:46

Rick PetersonKnown as the Pitching Professor, Rick Peterson was the pitching coach for the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics for the past decade. His Oakland staff led the American League in ERA for two years, posting a 3.63 in 2003 and 3.58 in 2002. Under his guidance, the A's finished in the top three in ERA from 1999-2003. Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder all flourished under his tutelage.  Each became a 20-game winner and Zito captured the 2002 American League Cy Young Award.

Peterson has also worked closely with Dr. Andrews and American Sports Medicine Institute where extensive biomechanics are captured in the lab. Couple that with skills and competencies, performance-based behaviors and physical conditioning and Peterson believes you have "the performance triangle."

In our continuation with those that work in the business of baseball, we will be publishing an extensive interview with Peterson on all things pitching, cover how the use of biomechanics can then be used to work on a pitcher's delivery, spot possible "red flags" in their motion, and provide something more objective than "the eyeball factor" so often times employed when evaluating pitchers at the MLB level.

Check back shortly for this facinating and extensive interview.

(Read interviews with the likes of Marvin Miller, Fay Vincent, Mark Shapiro, Billy Beane, Bob Costas, and more in our interviews section)


Maury Brown

Maury 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 is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and 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.

Don't forget to register and log in on The Biz of Baseball site to get updates via your in-box, and see information only logged in members can see.

 
Maury Brown on XM175 at 4:40pm ET. Cubs Sale, World Series TV Ratings, How the Economy is Influencing Season Ticket Prices, More
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Written by the Staff   
Saturday, 08 November 2008 15:55

XM Maury Brown, the president of the Business of Sports Network will be on XM 175 tonight at 6:40PM ET, 1:40pm PT.

Topics will include television ratings for the World Series, how the downturn in the economy is impacting season ticket prices, how president-elect Obama's proposed  increase in taxes for those making more than $250,000 a year, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent as it was during the Clinton administration, could create more in the way of increased signing bonuses before 2009, and the ever changing details with the sale of the Cubs


The Biz of Baseball is part of the Business of Sports Network. For details on our interviews, latest new on MLB, the NFL, the NBA,and the NHL from outside the lines, check www.businessofsportsnetwork.com for information and links to the Network's sites.
 
Tampa Bay Rays - 2008 MLB Organization of the Year
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Written by the Staff   
Monday, 03 November 2008 19:37
2008 Business of Sports Network MLB Organization of the Year

 

It seemed there was a never-ending stream of superlatives when it came time to describe our selection as the 2008 MLB Organization of the Year. Unconventional, youthful, tenacious, coming of age, and plucky were but a handful. But, if you were to say at the beginning of the 2008 MLB season that the Tampa Bay Rays would make the World Series, maybe the best word used to describe them would be “unimaginable.”

The Rays, this year’s AL representative in the World Series, won our selection by going from worst in '07 to first in '08, and in the process breathed life into an organization that for the majority of its tenure has been running on life support.

To start with, the organization rebranded itself, removing "Devil" from the club name, and changing the team colors. At the time, owner Stuart Sternberg seemed to encapsulate how the team would be remembered in 2008:

"We were tied to the past, and the past wasn't necessarily something we wanted to be known for. Nobody's running from it or hiding from it, and we're proud of certain aspects of it, but this is something the organization was able to really put their arms around. I hope and expect the fans who come out will see it as a new beginning," he said.

From a player payroll perspective, no team did so much with so little. Using the Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins metric (see a detailed break down of all 30 clubs), the Rays had the second lowest Opening Day payroll in the league at $43,820,598, then won the AL East with a 97-65 record, which comes to an incredible $679,764 per marginal win. To place this in perspective, the Rays were the only postseason team to tout a cost per marginal win less than $1 million, with the nearest being the Brewers at $1,692,854 per MW --- nearly two and a half times greater.

As they say, winning cures all ills and the Rays were no exception. The Major League's largest increase in average attendance came to the Rays, who saw a jump of 28.20 percent to 22,370 per game, or 1,780,791 in total attendance, up from last season’s 1,389,031. The total attendance count was nothing spectacular, but given the fact that the (then) Devil Rays had posted total attendance of 1,369,031 in 2006 (29th out of 30), and 1,124,189 in 2005 (30th out of 30), the Rays see hope in growing fan interest over the next few seasons based on their improbable run through the AL East and the postseason.

That winning also parlayed into increased viewership on television. FSN Florida and the Tampa Bay Rays saw nearly a 100 percent increase in ratings from last year (99%) posting a 3.47 rating this year compared to 1.74 last season. To add an extra shine to the regional ratings, the Rays doubled total households from 31,000 in '07 to 62,000 in '08.

This increase in viewership has allowed Rays owner Stuart Sternberg and his staff to negotiate an 8-year extension with FSN Florida through 2016. While figures have not been released, the Rays will see a substantial increase in television rights fees from FSN Florida over the life of the agreement.

On top of all this, the real reason the Rays received our 2008 award is the make-up of the team. From GM Andrew Friedman, to the pitching staff, through the rest of the roster, the best word to describe them is “youthful.” That quality pervades every aspect of the team.

Come sail away? The Rays wisely opted to wait for a
better economic and political opportunity to pursue
a proposed new waterfront ballpark in downtown
St. Petersburg. (see more images)

The club's Wall Street analyst-turned general manager, Andrew Friedman (age 31), had never worked in MLB until owner Stuart Sternberg tapped him for the position. The Rays' World Series starting rotation has an average age of 24.6. The team roster includes 11 first-round draft picks, five of which the Rays drafted.

We also tipped our hat to manager Joe Maddon, who was selected as The Sporting News Manager of the Year for the American League. Maddon’s taste for what some termed a “new age” style resonated with the players, and his straightforward candor and honesty was a breath of fresh air for the league.

Other points of interest that make the Rays our selection as MLB organization of the year:

  • For the second consecutive season the organization played a series at Disney's Wide World of Sports, just outside of Orlando, this year taking on the Toronto Blue Jays. The games were a proactive effort by the Rays to increase fan interest regionally before the realization that the team would become a force in the AL East. How have the Rays fared at Disney? To date, they are undefeated.
  • The club announced plans to develop a new ballpark in downtown St. Petersburg at the Al Lang Park location. The design, arguably the most unique in all of sports, has sail-like panels that would create cover in the event of rain. While the Rays were hoping to obtain public funding this year, they wisely pulled back from that stance, opting to do so at a later point when the political and economic climate is more conducive.

The question will now shift to whether the Rays can ride the momentum? Will season ticket sales increase? Will those that were bandwagon fans turn into regulars? Certainly the team's first run into the postseason, its core of young marketable platers, and its strong management team offer hope.

Select Read More to see the rest of the Business of Sports Network 2008 MLB Organization of the Year Award, including guest selections, our runner-up and honorable mentions

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