Author Topic: Will MLB force the Angelos family to sell the Nats TV rights to the Lerners?  (Read 1621 times)

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Offline Slateman

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Something is wrong when a team like the Phillies makes more than twice as much on local TV than the Nats. This extra money pays for Harper's and Turner's salaries with $12 million left over. It's not a level playing field when teams like the Dodgers and Yankees can spend so much more partially due to so much more local money.


If you think that the reason the Lerners arent increasing payroll because of the MASN deal, then I have a bridge to sell you.

MLB had record setting revenue in 2023. Additionally, every team is pulling in at least 200 million in revenuen sharing

https://www.thetribune.ca/sports/mlb/#:~:text=Under%20the%20new%20collective%20bargaining,million%20USD%2C%20if%20not%20more

Quote
“Under the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiated in 2022, each MLB team pools 48 per cent of local revenues with the total amount split equally between all 30 teams. This results in each team taking in 3.3 per cent of the total—an estimated $110 million USD, if not more. Teams also receive a share of national revenues, totalling around $90 million USD per team.”

This is the Lerners (and lots of other owners) treating baseball teams like real estate firms

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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...like fight to the death for the last parking spot at Whole Foods, gets in the way of televised sports
And now they have Uber Eats so no need to go to the store.

So many very important people in the DMV with more vital things to do than watching baseball on TV. 

Offline Slateman

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Or standing in line at Starbucks

Offline Senatorswin

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If you think that the reason the Lerners arent increasing payroll because of the MASN deal, then I have a bridge to sell you.

MLB had record setting revenue in 2023. Additionally, every team is pulling in at least 200 million in revenuen sharing

https://www.thetribune.ca/sports/mlb/#:~:text=Under%20the%20new%20collective%20bargaining,million%20USD%2C%20if%20not%20more

This is the Lerners (and lots of other owners) treating baseball teams like real estate firms

Bringing in much more revenue from local TV has a correlation to how much an owner is willing to spend. I understand there's no way anybody can pay the Nationals for local TV what the Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees etc. get, but it's not a level playing field. If an owner can use TV money for marquee players, there's more interest, higher ratings, more attendance, more jerseys purchased etc.

Obviously fans want the owner to spend and I'm in the minority, but I don't think this offseason was the right time to go after the big name free agents. After the Nationals find out what they have in the rebuilding process this year, next offseason will be the time to fill in the holes. The Nationals have spent in the past to fill in the holes to get them over the top, we'll see if they do this time when the time is right.

I think the Orioles should be criticized for not signing a big time pitcher this offseason because they are where the Nats are trying to get to.

Offline Slateman

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Bringing in much more revenue from local TV has a correlation to how much an owner is willing to spend. I understand there's no way anybody can pay the Nationals for local TV what the Phillies, Dodgers, Yankees etc. get, but it's not a level playing field. If an owner can use TV money for marquee players, there's more interest, higher ratings, more attendance, more jerseys purchased etc.

Obviously fans want the owner to spend and I'm in the minority, but I don't think this offseason was the right time to go after the big name free agents. After the Nationals find out what they have in the rebuilding process this year, next offseason will be the time to fill in the holes. The Nationals have spent in the past to fill in the holes to get them over the top, we'll see if they do this time when the time is right.

I think the Orioles should be criticized for not signing a big time pitcher this offseason because they are where the Nats are trying to get to.
Bullcrap. By that definition, the Red Sox should be throwing cash away. Same for the Cubs and White Sox. Hell Oakland is a top 10 media market. Tampa is top 15.

Again 200 million. Every team in baseball is making AT LEAST 200 million whether they bring in a single fan or a single person watches their broadcast.

Its greed, pure and simple. The owners dont want to spend. The money is there to spend but they dont care about the on field results. They are more interested in maximizing profits.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Yeah the Lerners spent before when they wanted a title. Now they don’t care about that and are pinching pennys. We are the Royals. 

Online HalfSmokes

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MLB streaming rights are hard to understand and I've never read anything about who owns the Nats and Os.   MLB has made a point of keeping them separate from TV rights and weren't allowing any TV rights deals to include streaming rights except by waiver for tv everywhere type apps.   Then at one point, MLB gave them to the team, but was annoyed when some of the teams sold their rights to Bally's, and put the brakes on anyone else selling them to them.   

It seems pretty unclear whether MASN owns the rights other than by waiver for their tv everywhere app that requires a cable or equivalent bundle.   If they did, they'd likely offer a standalone $20-30/month thing.

MLB has said they want to package as many of the local streaming rights together as they can, so wouldn't be surprised if the Os sale included language that the Nats and Os will be part of that, so it doesn't end up in a big legal battle down the road.

If the nats ever owned their rights separate from MASN, they would have offered streaming if for no other reason than to give MASN the middle finger

Offline Senatorswin

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Bullcrap. By that definition, the Red Sox should be throwing cash away. Same for the Cubs and White Sox. Hell Oakland is a top 10 media market. Tampa is top 15.

Again 200 million. Every team in baseball is making AT LEAST 200 million whether they bring in a single fan or a single person watches their broadcast.

Its greed, pure and simple. The owners dont want to spend. The money is there to spend but they dont care about the on field results. They are more interested in maximizing profits.

That's totally ridiculous if you don't think how much revenue a team gets has a correlation to how much they spend. There is some stinginess when it comes to some clubs but when there's a top free agent available who are the teams typically bidding for them. The top revenue teams. The Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Angels and often in the past the Red Sox. All top revenue teams. You mention the A's and Rays which doesn't make sense because they're two of the least revenue generating teams.

The Braves are a top revenue team but they're organization is so well run they rarely have to bid on top free agents. I think the poster boy for stinginess and not trying to win is the Pirates. They're not a top revenue team but they've always given the impression they don't really care about winning.

Offline Senatorswin

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Yeah the Lerners spent before when they wanted a title. Now they don’t care about that and are pinching pennys. We are the Royals.

That is the prevalent opinion here but I say the jury is still out. They are rebuilding. When the rebuilding gets to a certain point, probably after this year, they'll know what they have and then the time will be to get the number 1 pitcher or home run hitting first baseman. If they don't do it then I'll agree, but given their past I think they deserve the chance to rebuild and then reload.

Online HalfSmokes

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That is the prevalent opinion here but I say the jury is still out. They are rebuilding. When the rebuilding gets to a certain point, probably after this year, they'll know what they have and then the time will be to get the number 1 pitcher or home run hitting first baseman. If they don't do it then I'll agree, but given their past I think they deserve the chance to rebuild and then reload.

Funny how good organizations without cheap owners don’t have to lose 100 games to rebuild

Offline Slateman

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That's totally ridiculous if you don't think how much revenue a team gets has a correlation to how much they spend. There is some stinginess when it comes to some clubs but when there's a top free agent available who are the teams typically bidding for them. The top revenue teams. The Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Angels and often in the past the Red Sox. All top revenue teams. You mention the A's and Rays which doesn't make sense because they're two of the least revenue generating teams.

The Braves are a top revenue team but they're organization is so well run they rarely have to bid on top free agents. I think the poster boy for stinginess and not trying to win is the Pirates. They're not a top revenue team but they've always given the impression they don't really care about winning.
Ownership desire has more to do with spending than revenue.

Phillies payroll in 2018 was less than 100 million. It really wasnt competitive for the previous 3 years and the Dombrowski got hired. The Rangers didnt have a top 10 payroll until 2022, despite being a top 5 media market

Literally the central divisions in both leagues dont care about winning. 82 wins might take either division.

I pointed out the A's and Rays because they are getting 200 million dollars in revenue without having to lift a finger. That doesnt include anything they make on their own, nor anything at the gate. Literally 200 million dollars for either team to sub 50 million dollar payroll on the field.

Every team in baseball could have afforded big players. They are willfully choosing not to.

Offline Senatorswin

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Ownership desire has more to do with spending than revenue.

Phillies payroll in 2018 was less than 100 million.

Yes, and they were 80-82. So what did they do. Since 2018 they spent on Harper, Wheeler, Realmuto, Castellanos, Nola, Turner, Schwarber and Walker because they are a high revenue team. That's crazy to think revenue has no correlation to spending as a whole.

Offline Slateman

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Yes, and they were 80-82. So what did they do. Since 2018 they spent on Harper, Wheeler, Realmuto, Castellanos, Nola, Turner, Schwarber and Walker because they are a high revenue team. That's crazy to think revenue has no correlation to spending as a whole.
They had the same revenue the three previous years.

This is about ownership willing to spend. That is the limiting factor. Nothing more, nothing less. Every team in baseball could have added at least three of those players and most could have afforded all of them and still made a healthy profit.

Offline Senatorswin

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Funny how good organizations without cheap owners don’t have to lose 100 games to rebuild

The thing I think the Nats can be most criticized for is their horrible drafting and developing players during the teen years. If they had better scouts and a better minor league system they wouldn't of had to hit rock bottom.

Offline Natsinpwc

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There is definitely some correlation between revenue and being a good team.  But it also works the other way as being good increases revenue.  Also no doubt the Nats have been hurt by the MASN situation.  I guess it’s a matter of degree. They spent high right in the middle of the worst of it and now that they are getting some back pay they have become cheap.  I just don’t thing the current owners have any plans other than selling the team. 

Offline Senatorswin

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They had the same revenue the three previous years.

This is about ownership willing to spend. That is the limiting factor. Nothing more, nothing less. Every team in baseball could have added at least three of those players and most could have afforded all of them and still made a healthy profit.

Most teams make a healthy profit. Unless you're the sole owner of a team and stupid rich it would be irresponsible not to want to make a profit. But after the 2022 season these teams all had a negative operating income:

Mets
Phillies
Blue Jays
White Sox
Padres
Rockies
Tigers
Twins
Reds
Marlins

The average operating income per MLB team in 2023 was $17.6 million.

Some teams are making big money but again the teams spending big money are obviously the teams with the highest revenue. That's a no brainer.

Online Five Banners

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Funny how good organizations without cheap owners don’t have to lose 100 games to rebuild

That’s the elephant in the room. If the development of just a handful of starters had panned out at a better rate, that would’ve had a major impact over the past few years

Offline Senatorswin

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There is definitely some correlation between revenue and being a good team.  But it also works the other way as being good increases revenue.  Also no doubt the Nats have been hurt by the MASN situation.  I guess it’s a matter of degree. They spent high right in the middle of the worst of it and now that they are getting some back pay they have become cheap.  I just don’t thing the current owners have any plans other than selling the team.

Yes, the high revenue teams sign the marquee free agents which helps them win and increases their revenue more. The Phillies attendance sky rocketed in 2019 after they signed Harper. They had the TV contract in place so didn't hesitate to go after Harper. Before 2019 the Phillies and Nats attendance wasn't much different.

Offline Smithian

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This all sucks. It’s the worst.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Yes, the high revenue teams sign the marquee free agents which helps them win and increases their revenue more. The Phillies attendance sky rocketed in 2019 after they signed Harper. They had the TV contract in place so didn't hesitate to go after Harper. Before 2019 the Phillies and Nats attendance wasn't much different.
Don’t forget that part of the reason they hit that TV contract was their success in the 2007-11 years.  They were averaging about 3.5 million a year in attendance at that time and selling out basically every game.  Even in the Nats peak years they did not have that kind of attendance. I think you have to factor in that the Phillies have been in families interests for generations.  It will take a while for that to happen with the Nats. 

Offline Senatorswin

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Don’t forget that part of the reason they hit that TV contract was their success in the 2007-11 years.  They were averaging about 3.5 million a year in attendance at that time and selling out basically every game.  Even in the Nats peak years they did not have that kind of attendance. I think you have to factor in that the Phillies have been in families interests for generations.  It will take a while for that to happen with the Nats.

Yep.

Offline IanRubbish

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The thing I think the Nats can be most criticized for is their horrible drafting and developing players during the teen years. If they had better scouts and a better minor league system they wouldn't of had to hit rock bottom.

Agree.  But then Rizzo shouldn't still be here.  They use him now like they used to Stan Kasten, a PR front for their cheap and dysfunctional ways. 

Some of the poor drafting and development is Rizzo's incompetence at being an actual GM, rather than a defensive mouthpiece, and some is on the Lerners for not investing in the development staff.  Either way, this is a dysfunctional operation and no big market team should have to go through five miserable years per "cycle".  The Phillies haven't had a 100 loss since season since 1961, the Mets have had one since 1967, the Braves have had two since they moved to Atlanta nearly 60 years ago.  Meanwhile, this org is about to have its 4th in 20 years in DC.  Complete lack of pride in the product. 

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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They could probably just agree to let MASN die out with the RSN model.   It's not going to be the primary way to watch baseball for more than 2-3 years, and will be pretty much done as a significant revenue stream.

If they can just make sure they are positioned to have independence over streaming or be a part of a bigger mlb streaming package, then it is all not worth bickering over.

Having all the past resets settled is good enough to not be a big blocker on the sale of either team now.

I think the issue that this leaves open, though, is that even the death of MASN means the Nats still somehow have to extricate their rights from the wreckage of that. 

I worked on setting up one of the post-RSN networks that returned rights to the team (via a new network, with a JV partner in another sport) and I gotta tell you it's a lot cleaner to just buy the dying network than it would be to try to pry the rights away.  There may be a sort of grand bargain here in which Leonsis/Monumental get the Nats and then re-organize MASN to hold the Wizards and Caps rights as well, but it's still never going to be fully fair to the Nats.  There's just no leverage.

Offline imref

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Offline OfftheBat

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https://theathletic.com/5242865/2024/02/01/baltimore-orioles-sale-valuation/

Some expect that Rubenstein will sell MASN to Ted.


What does that mean for the Nats, if that were to happen?