The M’s FSN deal
I see a number of interesting issues.
The M’s won’t be starting the M’s channel for at least 10y
The M’s are now the highest-rated, most-lucrative team without being broadcast on a regional sports network they’re owners of. It’s a great way for teams to hide money from revenue sharing, and the M’s, it seems, have decided again to forsake it.
That FSN was willing to go 10y, 300m given the team’s fortunes says a lot about how the ratings have stood up over the last couple of years. They must be selling a lot of heavy-duty trucks.
10y/300m is a ridiculously small bump
If you look at TV deals for sports packages, they’ve increased in cost a lot since the last deal the M’s signed, and yet this one doesn’t reflect that. The M’s are getting a lot of money, but it’s surprising that they weren’t able to get more, as so many others have.
Why sign for so long?
This is what really baffles me. If the team believes that they’re going to return to contention, wouldn’t they want to extend the current deal, and make about as much money now, and then, as they did with the last one, push for a longer deal when they’ve got a pennant and all the leverage? With the market for sports broadcast rights ever-increasing, why would the team tie themselves down for the next decade for such a modest raise?
Obviously they think this deal makes good business sense, and the M’s are, business-wise, great at getting money out of the franchise. But I wonder what their thinking was here.