It’s time for the Fall Classic…as in the Major League Baseball World Series… and along with it has come a new financial ranking of Major League Baseball teams by Bloomberg.com. and according to their recently released data there are now 10 major league baseball teams that are worth over 1 billion dollars! The New York Yankees (who else?) are first with a net worth of 3.3 billion followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Mets all at 2.1 billion and then the Chicago Cubs rounding out the top five with 1.3 billion dollars of net worth.
What I found most interesting however, was that only 2 of these super wealthy teams made the playoffs this year (Boston and LA) with the New York Yankees falling just short and suffering a dismal season, but 2 of the 5, The Mets and Cubs were downright dreadful! In fact the Mets and the Cubs didn’t even bother to put much of a baseball product on their respective fields and really haven’t offered much in the way of baseball quality for several years now. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series in over 75 years! But really, why should they bother? And the Yankees are considering not upgrading their team this off season but rather cutting payroll to get below the MLB luxury tax threshold.
And why not, because According to Bloomberg’s editors, sports are no longer just about ticket and concession sales, and how the game is played. Today it’s more about regional sports networks and cable television and putting your team brand out there where it can sell, sell, sell! But I suppose any junior, pee-wee, midget, little league coach and parent knows that by now too. “Come on kids. Let’s get out there and sell, sell, sell those boosters…then we’ll play!”
40 years ago George Steinbrenner bought the New York Yankees for 10 million dollars and today they are worth 3.3 billion! Not because he went out and bought the best players but because he created the YES Network – the most profitable regional cable channel in the U.S.A. That’s why the Yankees are far and away the most valuable franchise in the league. The money, say the experts, is in the cable, as in cable TV…because consumers now pay to stay!… at home and watch that is.
Watching sports has become America’s favorite pastime…not playing sports, unfortunately, which would go a long way towards solving our country’s obesity problem…but rather just watching (sigh). And we love to watch. So much so that even the Mets and Cubs in all their futility are still…and apparently…immensely watchable…go figure.
Why, We Americans love to watch sports so much more than we love playing them that baseball isn’t even the most lucrative sport that we have to watch. It’s football! While only ten of the 30 major league baseball franchises are worth 1 billion dollars or more All of the 32 NFL football teams are worth over 1 billion dollars!
in fact, 1 prime time televised football game costs the network that televises it…120 million dollars… just to televise! That’s as much money as movie studios will pay to produce 1 pretty big studio movie! So the money…is in…the television. Who knew?
Once upon a time television came freely into our homes over America’s airwaves. All you had to buy was the television set. Now your TV set receives absolutely nothing unless you hook another technological contraption up to it… and that connects to a cable…and that is what you have to pay for if you want to watch your TV.
You’ve got to hand it to the media moguls though. Owners used to have to blackout home games so we would have to get up, leave our homes and go to the ballparks where we would then pay to watch them play in person… but at least that got us out of the house. Now whether we realize it or not…we pay (and not just a little but a lot more) to stay at home.
and that I guess, is why they call it “smart” TV…as in the TV is smart…not you and me.