The sports broadcasting rights bubble was eventually going to burst. We first saw the signs when Time Warner paid upwards of $200,000,000 a year for the rights to broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers games and then in short order half of LA couldn’t watch the games because Time Warner wanted too much money from some of the “cable” companies in the area and they refused to pay up to carry them. IT wasn’t much longer until the same thing began to play out nationwide with Dish Network, and then streaming platforms like Hulu, YouTube TV, and others. There may be a major issue now for the Cincinnati Reds and other professional teams as it appears Bally Sports is heading towards bankruptcy.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Bally Sports is likely heading towards bankruptcy and that there could be a few options on the table for what that entails. One option would be that as a part of the bankruptcy that teams could gain equity in Bally Sports if they are not paid for their broadcast rights. Another option could be that the rights agreement could be terminated, which would then give the teams the ability to shop their games around to a different company for broadcast.

Major League Baseball is in a bit of a different situation than the NBA or the NHL. You may be aware the Bally Sports has launched their own standalone product where you can get access to the channel without having any other subscription for $20 a month. That includes NBA and NHL broadcast rights, but it does not include MLB rights. Major League Baseball and Sinclair, who owns Bally Sports networks have been in a battle over those rights. Bally Sports believed they would be able to include those rights in their standalone product, but MLB has those rights and has not been willing to give them up.

At one point in recent memory there was a scenario being explored where the NBA, NHL, and MLB would buy out Bally Sports but that deal seemed to go nowhere rather quickly. Now there’s far more uncertainty in what could happen.

There’s a chance that Bally Sports could still exist in the way that they do now, just run by a different company. Ideally that’s probably what’s best for the short term for the Cincinnati Reds and the other professional sports franchises who have television contracts with them. But that’s only if the new Bally Sports pay the contractually agreed to rates for the broadcasts (or very close to it).

If the teams don’t get those needs met, though, it could leave teams in a strange place where there may not be an immediate answer for where you turn your television to in order to watch games. What would likely happen in that scenario is that Major League Baseball would quickly implement the no blackout streaming option through for your local games (but likely at a higher cost than the current rate of That would at least make the games available in the home market for fans, but also allow teams to recoup *some* of the expected broadcast fees that they would no longer be getting from Bally Sports. Rob Manfred has spoken about how they want to be able to implement this kind of plan in the future, and now it may be something that they get to work on in an accelerated timeline.

Many teams, though, wouldn’t just be taking a hit on the broadcast rights fees. When most of these television broadcast deals were made, teams opted for ownership stakes in what was the Fox Sports regional networks alongside of these large money deals. Cincinnati was one of those teams. How much stake they got is unknown. Some teams, like the St. Louis Cardinals, got a 30% stake in their local Fox Sports network when they signed their deal that also paid them $67M a season for 15 years. Amazingly, the Cincinnati Reds television deal is the only one in America where we don’t really have solid numbers on.

69 Responses

  1. B-town Fan

    I for one, am one of the Dish customers that got screwed, so good riddance Bally sports/Sinclair. Sinclair way over payed for the Fox sports networks when they bought them from Disney, so bankruptcy was eventually in the cards. Maybe all the resulting mess will some how work out best the baseball fans especially us Reds fans but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. DaveCT

    “Amazingly, the Cincinnati Reds television deal is the only one in America where we don’t really have solid numbers on.”

    More amateur hour.

    • BK

      How is it amateurish for the Red’s ownership to keep the details of a private transaction private?

      • Steve

        Yeah, we can talk trash about ownership alot…and we do and its deserved, but this is a weird one…I don’t understand how this would be considered ‘amateur hour’

      • DaveCT

        In 2023, hiding such financials, and worse, being the only ML club in the country doing so, is less a function of deceit or worse, than it is a function of incompetence.

        A competent ownership group and managing board would *require* the club to be more open and transparent with the public. Failure to do so demonstrates a lack of professional operations.

        In other words, amateurs.

      • Tom

        I read that and LOL so typical Reds ownership. Probably banking 125,000,000 and won’t spend half that on a decent roster

  3. BK

    As I’ve stated previously, this is one of the contributing factors to the Red’s austere player payroll for 2023–perhaps the biggest reason. Uncertainty often results in reduced investment for companies. I suspect this had an impact on the Angel’s decision not to sell right now.

    On the brighter side, it would be good for MLB to recognize the opportunity to bring all of their broadcast rights under a central umbrella contract and share the revenues evenly among all teams. I don’t know of any other lever unilaterally available to the Owners to bring more parity to MLB. That said, I don’t think every MLB team is affiliated with Bally Sports, so this may not be a viable option.

    • Old Big Ed

      Bally doesn’t have the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, Mets or Red Sox.

      I do know that in the late 1990s or early 2000s that MLB took all the teams’ independent websites away from them and put them all under a coordinated umbrella. They did so to allow for coordinated ticket sales on line and just to have everyone on the same page. That led pretty quickly to MLB Advanced Media and BAMTech, which was funded by the MLB teams each pledging 4 annual $1 million payments to MLB. (They almost ran out of money, until they tried streaming and figure out how to do it better than anybody else.)

      It would be difficult to put all the local TV under 1 umbrella, because doing so would disincentivize teams from maxing out their local revenue. Why should the Yankees try to have big local TV ratings, if they don’t keep most of the money? The MLBPA would also balk at that. But MLB could certainly do more with sharing local TV money. The Yankees, after all, don’t televise intersquad games on the YES Network. They show the Yankees and another team, like the Twins or Rays. Those teams are half the show, and ought to get a good cut of the money that they Yankees generate showing their teams play.

      The Bally Sports (its name is Diamond Sports Group, LLC) collapse definitely has created a good occasion for the spectrum of high-to-low revenue MLB teams and the MLBPA to revisit a lot of the revenue sharing issues.

      • MBS

        @Old, The NFL, and NBA have umbrella deals, why would it be any harder for the MLB to do so?

        @BK, I mentioned something similar earlier today, and several times in the past. I think the near future RSN’s will be obsolete, and a deal will be made with a streaming provider. It really is the only way to even the playing field for all markets, and cable is dying. Apple has the MLS, and I could see them buying another sport, they have more money than they know what to do with. Amazon, Disney+, and Netflix also seem like good possibilities.

        Disney+ is the most interesting since they have over the air, cable, and streaming. They would have the easiest time getting the most viewers if they became the exclusive broadcaster for any sport.

      • Old Big Ed

        MBS, one-umbrella TV is possible with the NFL, because the NFL plays once a week, the league is wildly possible, and the vast majority of its revenues come from national and not local television deals. The revenue model is completely different from baseball’s revenue model.

        Baseball is more like college sports. People generally watch the local product. Missouri fans like Missouri games, and don’t generally watch Rutgers. Regular NFL fans in Seattle will watch the Ravens play the Bears if that is the Monday night game. Regular MLB fans in Seattle will not the Orioles play the White Sox, on Monday or any other day. They will watch the Mariners instead.

        The big tech companies need content, and they are obvious and logical outlets for MLB. But it is far from apparent that they will be generate the revenue of the cable era, which is now a bubble that has burst.

      • BK

        All good point OBE. I’ll point out that Missouri does not have its own broadcasting rights, the SEC controls them. Moreover, schools like Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt get the same cut of revenue as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU. In contrast, the Big 12 was built around Texas having its own network–few would argue that the Big 12 has been among the least successful (and most poached) of the NCAA power conferences.

        MLB is quite similar to both the NHL and NBA–both have extended seasons with scores of games. So, there are two viable and successful models for MLB to plagiarize from.

        I’m sure exactly how they should do it, but I’m hoping that MLB will seize the opportunity and at least get on a path that promotes competition across the league. I know we’d all like to think less about the Red’s financial woes. I don’t even think about the finances of my favorite NFL or NBA teams, and both are small-market teams. MLB needs to figure it out.

      • Doug Gray

        Local TV revenue is pooled. I believe 33% of all local revenues go into one big pot and then are sent back evenly. Teams like the Yankees lose money here. Teams like the Reds gain money here.

      • MBS

        @OBE, I get what you’re saying about the watching habits of MLB viewers, I won’t start watching the Royals play. However, in this hypothetical the Streamer doesn’t care how many teams I watch, just that I subscribe to their service. 30 major markets of baseball fans will be inclined to do just that. Live sports is still the big draw for advertisers. Currently the subscription model has changed from the commercial free to either premiums price free of commercials, or discounted price with commercials. Sports seem to fit right into that model.

      • MBS

        Also advertisers would love this model more than cable. They will have your watch history to gauge your interest. So instead of 1 ad for an entire market, the advertisers can target specific views based on interest. I would guess that would also benefit the streamer because they can charge by providing targeted viewers to the advertisers. I think it’s inevitable, but really what do I know, I thought the Reds were going to spend at least $100M this year.

    • Tom Reeves

      Exactly, BK. The Reds ownership has gone into an extended hunker down mode and now we have a better understanding as to why. The Reds took a loss on the 2020 season and it appears they may have taken close to a loss in 2021 and 2022. If the TV contract collapses, the Reds may actually be upside-down for an even longer period of time.

      Of course, the other issue is that the TV contract is one of two things keeping the Reds in Cincinnati, should someone else buy the team and wish to move it to a bigger for faster growing market. The other factor is the stadium deal with the county. I know some folks have immediately pounced on me anytime I’ve brought this up but it’s actually very easy for the Reds to get out of the deal with the county. First, the current Reds franchise sells the Reds name to a newly formed franchise in a different market. Then, the current franchise, with no naming rights, files for bankruptcy. That’s hard to do if the Reds are financially stable. If the TV contract collapses and the current franchise becomes unsustainable, there may be a motivation to leave the market and reasons for a strategic bankruptcy.

      I hope the collapse of Bally Sports means the Reds untether from cable and go completely streaming (then I can cut cable). But it does come with some risks.

      • Doug Gray

        Yeah, that “easy way” absolutely isn’t happening.

  4. Dick Paterson

    I would be willing to pay much more to watch if there were no blackouts. Blackouts are ridiculously administered and are the death of building a local fan base. If you don’t do network TV, you have to live far, far away to watch games. I do in respect to Cincinnati, but I still can’t watch when they play the Pirates or NY teams, but can watch games that are much closer than Pittsburg., just dump Bally.

    • JayTheRed

      I kinda have the same situation. I can’t watch games against the Brewers since I live in Wisconsin. I still normally get MLB TV though because I can watch every other games and now that they play the Brewers less, I’ll be getting more for my money.

      • 2020ball

        My local team is the other team I follow, I am forced to pirate games to watch or wait until late to watch it taped. Past time the blackouts went away, I am willing to spend somewhat more for that despite becoming a progressively worse product over the years.

  5. Kevin Patrick

    Honestly, this is where federal anti trust policies need ironed out. Its hard for me to accept that there is only one tv provider where I can see my team. Its also hard for me to accept that local tv stations can no longer seemingly afford to compete for that live sports content. I used to have no issues watching Purdue play basketball. Now…you have to get the Big Ten Network. Call me old school, but teams should retain the ability to black out if not enough tickets are sold on site. Sparsely attended games are not good for the longevity of the sport. Also, tickets should be affordable enough to be able to go on a whim. It comes down to this…if Major League Baseball is going to enjoy being a national trust protected by federal policies, then those teams should be accessible to NOT the rich exclusively. Surprise surprise…regular folks have less spending money to throw down on watching a lot of things. It isn’t a question of “where you gonna go?”…its a question of “where can you afford to go?” This problem isn’t unique to baseball either. Who can afford to go to a concert?

  6. Optimist

    The original transactions are understandably a bit opaque, so it’s unclear who messed up the most here – Bally, the Reds, or MLB. There’s clearly an asset here, and equally clearly an opportunity for MLB to step in and address its larger problem – mismanaging its marketing and customer development.

    Bankruptcy is just a late stage negotiation, but there is a time crunch to get a deal done for 2023.

    • Jim Walker

      MLB/NBA/NHL have apparently decided they are not going to save Bally (just quite yet). Instead, the deal is supposedly going to make the largest Bally (Diamond Sports) creditors the owners of the Bally RSNs. But then who would they hire to run or alternately sell them to?

      The linked article below also says “subordinated creditors” face a “near total wipe out”. I bet that means equity owners like the Reds and Cardinals et al are even deeper in the quicksand.

      If it is any consolation, the article says the Cardinals may end up being the biggest losers in the whole mess between their equity and the amount of rights payments they receive annually.

  7. redfanorbust

    Whatever happens no more blackouts! I pay a lot for MLB TV and I live out west and seems like whatever team they are playing somewhere out here, (within a five billion light years as the really strong crow flies radius) I can’t watch it.

  8. Colorado Red

    If Bally folds the Reds are worth much less.
    This is a good chuck of the revenue.
    They would have to put a better product on the field, to get more fans in the stands.
    Also, they would need more people watching.
    Have not decided if I am going to get MLBtv or not this year (did last year, but not the year before).
    Note, the only team block out here, is the Rockies, and I usually root against them (it is fun). Hope Phil loses a ton on $$ for the crap he has done to the fans of the Reds.

  9. Klugo

    I’m not going to pay anything until the Reds put a decent product out there. Hope the Castellini’s understand that.

  10. Votto4life

    The only reason I still have cable is to watch the Reds. It’s fine with me if they go to streaming, as long as, they lift the black outs. I’ll dump cable altogether. If it somehow evens the playing field, it’s even better.

  11. Mark Moore

    All the holdover crap from antenna days gets pretty old. And the “assigned market” blackouts (in Raleigh, we’re captive to Nats and O’s even though those games aren’t on anything local) is complete punitive garbage leftovers as well.

    Price the streaming services reasonably and let us watch whatever we want. That’s how the “free market” would work. But with the sanctioned monopolies that are major sports franchises, that won’t happen, will it?

    Targeting the annual Fathers’ Day 50% off sale for

    • Rut

      But by June the Reds will have been long out of the race!

      I at least have the delusion of hope when I get it start of the season… but as we both end up the same place, but you get it 50% cheaper, reckon I can throw no stones.

      Btw, live in Cary, so another local “Who Dey” yeller should you see me out and about this weekend!

  12. Andy

    I’m excited, haven’t watched many Reds games on TV in 2 years waiting for MLB to recover its own broadcast rights. Hoping a blackout-free MLB app streaming package is end result.

  13. Kjr

    We lost access to the Reds games when it was pulled off DISH and the ridiculous blackouts that basically takes baseball off TV. It’s a dying sport because it’s run by avaricious owners whose priority is lining their pockets instead of what’s good for the game.

  14. Jedi Joey

    Please ditch the blackout rule! I will never pay for cable just to watch the Reds. I will happily pay for an subscription if this ever happens and it is reasonably priced.

  15. Votto4life

    Sorry this is off topic but…

    Abner Doubleday died this day in 1893. Although, he probably didn’t really invent baseball, Doubleday did have a very interesting life. His maternal grandfather was a messenger for George Washington during the American Revolution. His father served with distinction in the War of 1812. Doubleday, himself, rose to the rank on Major General. He served with honor in the Mexican-American War and served prominently in the American Civil War.

    In April 1861, Doubleday fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, he also was at the battles of Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Antietam and Gettysburg. Doubleday became a friend of President Abraham Lincoln and accompanied the 16th President back to Gettysburg in November 1863, where Lincoln gave his famous address. Abner Doubleday is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    • Kevin Patrick

      Is all this true? Seriously…I don’t want to google this.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, all true. After Ft. Sumter fell, Doubleday was assigned to the Army of the Potomac where he served under Erwin McDowell, George McClennan (who Doubleday did not like at all) Ambrose Burnside, Joe Hooker, George Meade and finally, Ulysses S. Grant.

        Doubleday’s core had a lot of fierce battles with Stonewall Jackson’s brigade in the Shenandoah Valley until Jackson’s death in 1863 at Chancellorsville.

    • TR

      Quite a resume and on top of that credited with founding the game of baseball.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, the weird thing is Abner Doubleday never claimed he invented baseball. That was the findings of the Mills Commission established in 1905 by the National League to determine the origins of baseball. Most historians today don’t accept the findings of the Mills Commission.

    • SOQ

      Thanks for the History lesson. I knew that he was a general during the Civil War, but not the other stuff. Thanks again

      • Votto4life

        You’re welcome. I didn’t mean to hijack the thread. I just find stuff like that interesting.

  16. Bill Newell

    Streaming will cut those of us living in rural areas out of watching baseball. I have a 15 gig internet package and it costs $50 a month. My understanding is that would let me watch about two games a month. No cable out here either. Baseball must stay on satellite TV.

    • David

      Maybe you could get Starlink Internet service?

      We cut out cable long ago and just have internet streaming. We pay $104/month to Spectrum, but have 400mbs speed, so can support WiFi computers, and several streaming TVs at once.
      But I think this is really too much for internet service. Your opinion may very according to your location.

      • Jim Walker

        You may be oversold at 400mbs. Several nights ago I was watching hockey and football simultaneously in separate windows on the same monitor, my wife was watching NetFlix, all this in HiDef, plus I was running Twitter on a tablet with base service of wired 100mbs into the house distributed inside the house via WiFi.

      • Colorado Red

        Just cut the cable last month, and comcast still charged me for it.
        Spent over an hour working with them to fix.
        Have 400MB internet for 80 per month. Can watch the Reds on for 35% off (veteran). Only games against the pebbles and national television games are block out. So not many unless Hunter is pitching.
        Rox games are too dangerous now. Downtown used to be nice, but not safe anymore. MLB needs to get the heads out the you know what, and fix it.

    • Jack

      Check if you can get T-mobile internet. I get great speeds, generally at least 200 mbs and as a bonus since it is essentially cell service I get mlbtv free with the associated number. Usually the service thinks its “home” location is some place like Chicago, Cleveland or even KC once so Reds games aren’t blacked out.

  17. Jim Walker

    I don’t care who ends up actually owning the streaming rights. I just want the system organized so there is a central MLB clearinghouse where I have one account, pay for my access, and log in to watch the games I buy access to see.

    Apply the database and network technologies available to do these things and send the appropriate amounts of my payment to Apple or YouTube or Bally or whoever else owns rights for the team(s) I pay to watch.

    If I can sit next to the pool at my stepdaughter’s home in SoCal and stream the Reds game broadcast produced by Bally (FSN at the time) via my Spectrum account based in Ohio, this is well with the technical realm of reality. The lawyers and bean counters just need to be told to write the contracts to make it so.

    This would be a win/ win/ win situation for everyone involved.

  18. Rednat

    it is interesting the progression of media in baseball since i have been alive. radio> broadcast tv> cable tv> now to internet. And now, it looks like for me back to radio. The downloading and streaming of the games on the internet is just getting too goofy, weird and complex for me at this point. IT’S LIKE YOU HAVE TO BE A FREAKING COMPUTER ENGINEER FROM MIT TO WATCH A BASEBALL GAME ANYMORE. entering codes from your phone on to the computer screen is just too frustrating and demoralizing for me. lol. not worth it. I guess I will just listen to the games on the radio and go to the games that i can. Kind of like when i was a kid in the 50’s and 60’s.

  19. AMDG

    Having been a cord-cutter for more than a decade, this obviously doesn’t affect me as much as it does others.

    That being said, I’m hoping (foolishly, mind you) that this would prompt MLB to look at addressing their financial structure.

    • Old Big Ed

      I think that this will be the inflection point that forces some resolution of the cable/streaming issue.

      The RSNs paid the individual teams a high price to get the exclusive rights to show the local games, figuring that the cable companies (needing the local sports content) would pay the RSNs a premium each month from each cable customer, including from cable subscribers who didn’t watch the games. That worked until cord-cutting became a big thing, i.e., when everybody started to understand that they could stream most of their desired content for a much lower price.

      But the exclusivity clauses created the “blackout” issues that annoy the streamers (the numbers of which grow by the day), and justifiably so. Most of us would willingly pay something to get full access the Reds or other local team, but the easiest but most expensive option was to do it through cable or satellite provider.

      It has now come to a head. I think that MLB’s instincts are on the side of the streamer — they want to maximize the opportunity for Reds fans to see Reds games, because headcount makes them the most money over the long haul. The teams’ contracts with the RSNs, though, have thwarted that. Fortunately, bankruptcy court has a great knack for forcing competing interests to the table, and I expect that the negotiations will result in streamers will having far easier access to games in future seasons.

      It remains to be seen how much local broadcasting that MLB will take under its umbrella. It should be quite a bit more than it is now, but I don’t see the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, etc. giving up their vast local income streams so that Joe Fan in Florence, KY can watch games more conveniently.

      I definitely want the games locally produced. When I watch the games, I want to hear what Chris Welsh and the Cowboy have to say about the Reds, not some national guy or some lug from Philadelphia who yaps on and on about Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto.

  20. DataDumpster

    Lots of good ideas but not much time to get all the “players” in line. The easiest and most fan friendly solution is to remove the blackout on MLB.TV. Maybe the price goes up a bit with some miniscule loss of attendance but don’t these knuckleheads realize that the average fan in his 60s either can’t afford or has no desire to go through the hassle of attending a game with few exceptions.

    I dropped cable about 7 years ago since there was so little to watch especially after Bourdain and the Old Man dropped and most everything else seems to be on the level of “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Got MLB.TV for the first time last year but with my favorite team blacked out and the Reds becoming tolerable only about 30% of the time, I did not get much value out of my subscription. Well, at least, we have the Cowboy and I have rediscovered the “Reds On The Radio” while allowing myself the freedom to not be tied to the couch.
    If the Reds, Cardinals, Bally, Sinclair, Diamond, etc. take a big bath on this, so be it, this is the capitalist system we operate under. With MLB.TV and no blackouts, a better solution is already in place. If the Yankees, Dodgers, etc. think they can do better, let them opt out. I think there may be a silver lining after the pain and its hard to feel sorry for any of the “players” in this fiasco. Move on.

  21. SultanofSwaff

    If that’s what it takes to not listen to Sadak and Larkin I’m ready to take the hit.

    • Old Big Ed

      I like Welsh and the Cowboy, though. I don’t want to listen have to listen to the Marlins broadcast, or (even worse) some 32-year-old lead broadcaster from a national pool who has seen the Reds play 4 times in the past 5 years.

    • DataDumpster

      Agree with both. I didn’t realize how often Sadak and Welsh would trade places. I suppose they were trying to boost him with the Cowboy but didn’t work for me. I think Welsh can take over and maybe Annie can move to a more prominent role.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Yeah, gets a bit taxing listening to them. Joey was such a nice break from them when he was on. Did a great job too.

  22. Ken

    I can see the immense gap between the wealthy teams and those in small markets widening. The fat cats have the means to compete. The Reds lack the cash and the spirit to compete, and now broadcast rights are in limbo. I don’t see such a rosy future for MLB. When teams enter a season more resembling a AA team than a big-league one, it starts to look like the English Premier League. Under its rules, the Reds would be relegated to second division.

  23. MBS

    I didn’t realize how many MLB teams Bally’s has under contract, it’s nearly half of the MLB.

    1 Diamondbacks
    2 Tigers
    3 Marlins
    4 Guardians
    5 Royals
    6 Cardinals
    7 Twins
    8 Reds
    9 Padres
    10 Angels
    11 Braves
    12 Rangers
    13 Rays
    14 Brewers

    • Jim Walker

      I believe Bally/ Diamond has a similar level of penetration among the US based NHL teams also. I don’t follow the NBA at all; so, I don’t know what the situation is there aside from here regionally they have both the Cavaliers and Pacers.

      • Jim Walker

        Gave my Google fingers a workout and very unofficially came up with a total of 12 of the 25 US based NHL teams having full or partial schedules on Bally for the current season. Note that “full” means all games not preempted by one of the NHL’s national packages which are basically TNT and Disney (ESPN/ ESPN+/HULU+)

    • Old Big Ed

      Yes, and this is why I am optimistic that the bankruptcy negotiations will result in something better than we have now. It will bring the streaming issues to a head, and these teams plus several other low-to-medium teams will combine to have some leverage.

      If the Players Association was smart, which it may not be, it would realize that its members as a group will make a lot more money over the long run if (a) baseball as a business flourishes, and (b) every team has a reasonable chance of competing in most seasons. I think those two points come hand-in-hand. It helps the Scott Boras clients to have teams that spend 4 times what others spend, but the rank-and-file player like Jake Fraley do not benefit under the present system. The Fraleys of the world would do a lot better, if there were 22 teams who might be interested in him, as opposed to 6.

      • Jim Walker

        The ultimate solution for MLB needs to be MLBTV reimagined. It would probably have tiers. The primary tier would be for all the games of 1 team.

        Whether that would be a team of a viewer’s free choice or a mandatory team based on geographic locale would have to be decided. A premium could be charged for selecting an out of region team as a viewer’s primary team.

        Next would be a premium for anyone wanting to buy into what MLBTV is today but without blackouts. Since all this add on premium subscription money would go into one big pool, why hassle blackouts?

        Other possibilities include partial subscription packages at prices which reflect a premium over the per game rate inferred by a full basic 1 team subscription because they need to do this while not losing full subscriptions to these package deals. The idea is to lure in people who don’t buy a full team package because they don’t have the time (or level of interest) to watch except on weekends etc.

        Another possibility is to have select series available on a pay as you go basis, i.e. see the Reds at Fenway or Yankee Stadium or wherever. Again, price these so they don’t cause the loss of full subscriptions.

        In essence, market/ price the TV availability just like they market getting people through the gates to the ballparks by (as I suggested above) leveraging the available technology.

        Of course the real issue would be how the big pool gets divided. Every team has to get a floor amount as a given. Then it would get really sticky; but, the rewards should be worth the hassles.

      • MBS

        @Jim, If they could do that it would be great. An idea about dividing up the money. 80% gets evenly split, and the remaining 20% goes to teams in the playoffs, with the world series winner gaining the largest share and the 1st out with the smallest share. It would give everyone the ability to compete, and reward those who win.

      • Redsvol

        where were you guys during the 2022 lockout discussion? The rank and file MLB player is not very smart or able to think on his own. This past lockout, they listened to Max Sherzer, Gerrtit Cole, and Marcus Simien (key members of the MLBPA exec. committee) tell them that the existing system was good for them and just needed some tweaks to the Tax threshold #’s. And they believed them!

        So you had basically 4 teams competing for the best free agents this off-season. Even the Yankees and Dodgers decided it wasn’t worth it to go beyond the tax threshold this year. This past agreement did very little for the rank and file MLB member – unless you count the increase in the minimum salary. They had the opportunity to negotiate a salary “floor” which would have made all teams compete for free agents. Instead they listened to Max Sherzer and did what was good for him.

  24. Jimbo44CN

    I never did understand whey they were listening to a multi multi millionaire as their chief negotiator or why they thought he was the best for the job.

    • Redsvol

      exactly Jimbo. Can you imagine a steel worker wanting the 1 guy in the union that makes 50 times what he makes negotiating for him. Or a Coal miner? No way would that person assume the guy making 50 times him salary would be looking out for him in a labor deal. the MLBPA has it backwards. The guys making less than 3$ million per year are the vast majority. They should do what’s in their best interest, not what’s in the best interest of the 1%.