Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

The MLB’s TV Growth

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The MLB’s most recent contract with ESPN, FOX, TBS, and the MLB Network, taking effect this year, mark a more than 100% increase in profits over the previous contract. Annual payouts to the league jumped from $712 million to $1.5 Billion, a $788 million bump.
Across the networks, more games and special events are now scheduled than ever before. Upon reaching the deal, Commissioner Allan Selig said, “The game has never been more popular… to see the unprecedented and historic commitment these networks have made to televising Major League Baseball for years to come is truly amazing.”

This deal only emphasizes the ever increasing value of TV rights in the MLB. In 1947, Gillette received exclusive rights to broadcast the World Series for $65,000 on TV, while paying out $175,000 for radio broadcast rights. By 1949, TV rights had overtaken radio rights $200,000 to $175,000. In the 1957 season, a 5-year contract agreed to pay $3 million a season to the MLB. The 1984 season marked the first $100+ million season, and by the 50th anniversary of MLB TV broadcasting, contracts agreed to over $500 million a year.

With this near exponential growth in TV right money, one must wonder where it can possibly stop? Many sports fans have already started to take note of the decline in baseball’s popularity as the NFL continues to dominate the US market in sports viewership. However, Major League Baseball is the most popular sport through its regular season, resting almost entirely between the NHL and NBA playoffs and the beginning of the NFL’s regular season. As we saw with the failures of the USFL and ABL, any new league attempting to rise up to overtake TV time of deep-seeded leagues are fighting an uphill battle, and without any major competition through the thick of it’s season, baseball will continue to pull audiences worthy of near billion dollar season contracts.

MLB and MTV??

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Although television is not considered a new form of media or technology by any means, reality shows on channels such as E!, MTV, and Bravo have grown more popular in recent years. However, I think we’ve all had enough of the Kardashians. Celebrities and wanna-be stars are becoming more and more over the top as they show the world glimpse into their “fab” lifestyles of excess.


Perhaps this is why reality television shows are turning to athletes to continue gaining viewers. Athletes including Ryan Lochte, Lamar Odom, Kris Humphries, Apolo Anton Ohno, and many other athletes and Olympians have appeared on or starred in their own reality shows, increasing their popularity or infamy, in some cases. Perhaps shows that feature purely athletes and teams (Two-A-Days, Venus and Serena) have given Major League Baseball an idea to join the trend.


According to Business Insider and Associated Press, Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz is collaborating with Pittsburgh Pirates player Andrew McCutchen to produce a reality TV show on MTV. The show hopes to “meld pop culture and baseball” throughout a 30-episode series. Tim Brosnan, executive MLB vice president stated the show’s main goal was to “promote the game and its players with a young generation” which should reach out to target populations, increase the fan-base, and increase interest in baseball. Brosnan went on to state “Like any other business, cultivating new fans and customers is, was and always will be an imperative for baseball.”

The show has not yet been named, but generating “hype” about the show via twitter, vine, facebook, etc. would aid in its success and achievement of its goals. Vine is a new form of media that continues to gain popularity. Perhaps the show’s producers could begin creating vines to help advertise the show, or create an iPhone app to host fan’s predictions/opinions/etc.

Note: This post is NOT saying TV is the new media. The success and fame of reality TV star athletes/Olympians  (NOT TV itself) is the outlet and new form of media to gain fans and draw attention to a specific athlete or team.