ESPN’S Gonna Make Everybody Rich
Go on, check your bank account. I’ll wait. What’s that? It’s the same-bordering-on-financial-ruin number you had earlier? That’s impossible, what with ESPN throwing money around to anyone connected with baseball. The transfer must not have gone through. Yeah, that’s it.
Earlier today, ESPN and Major League Baseball announced a new 8-year, $5.6 billion deal, which should pay out $700 million each year, more than doubling the current $306M deal that’s in place. Even better, should you be a fan of small and mid-market teams OR you enjoy wealthy owners being able to bring home a nice bonus come Christmas time, each Major League team will be getting $23M per year. The price of utility infielders just went through the roof.
For those that have sworn off of ESPN, the media giant has made a small concession, promising to show at least one game from every team throughout the season. At the same time, the deal gives them the rights to more big ticket items like Red Sox and Yankees games. Though I don’t have access to the company’s documents, here is how the schedule will probably shake out:
ARI/ATL/BAL/BOS/CHC/CHW/CLE/CIN/COL/DET/KCR/MIN/MIA/MIL/OAK/PHI/PIT/SDP/SFG/SEA/STL/TBR/TEX/TOR/WSN: 1 game
LAA/LAD/NYM: 5 games.
Red Sox and Yankees: Every. Single. Day.
If that upsets you, fine, but really, the only way to get ESPN or FOX or TBS to change their ways is for millions of people to tune in when the smaller teams are playing and prove that what baseball fans really want to see are two back-of-the-rotation starters squaring off in a San Diego - Colorado game. That’s where true drama resides.
If you thought this deal was fun, just wait for when FOX and TBS get into a bidding war with NBC.