Another annoying twinge of envy directed toward the St. Louis Cardinals.

Isn’t one of the benefits of being 23.5 games out of first place supposed to be semi-detachment? If Reds fans have sworn off the 2015 pennant race and pledged our focus to the development of promising young pitching arms and the glory that is Joey Votto, shouldn’t we be spared daily, grudging resentment?

But those old irritations made a cameo appearance at the end of July when we learned of the Cardinals’ new local television rights agreement with Fox Sports Midwest. For a billion dollars. Billion with a “b.”

Envy, then anxiety. 

There’s no organization in the world, maybe other than the Iranian government, that I’d less rather see with a hefty infusion of cash. And even that’s a close call. Both groups are bent on malicious destruction of things held dear. But come to think of it, only one of them has ever employed Chris Carpenter and Tony LaRussa.

The Cardinals deal covers the 2018-2032 seasons and is valued at the aforementioned $1 billion plus an undisclosed signing bonus. The agreement, which was applauded as great for the eighth smallest market, is projected to more than double the club’s annual broadcasting revenue. Wonderful.

Envy, anxiety, then questions.

The Reds current broadcast agreement with Fox Sports Ohio runs through the 2016 season and pays our team $30 million per year. New negotiations and then revenues are due for Cincinnati. But how will the Reds agreement stack up against that blankety-blank deal in St. Louis?

Well, it depends.

Regional Sports Networks

The answer starts with understanding regional sports networks (RSN). Fox Sports Ohio is one of those. RSNs produce and buy shows to run on a television channel. Their essential programming is live sporting events. Other shows, like poker tournaments and fishing competitions, fill in.

FSO pays the Reds for the exclusive right to the visual broadcast of Cincinnati Reds games in this region (WLW pays for radio broadcast rights). Fox Sports Ohio, like other RSNs, makes money two ways. The most straightforward is by selling advertising on their shows. The more people who watch a given program — and more to the point, who might watch that program’s commercials — the more FSO can charge for its advertising time. Advertising revenue accounts for 10-20% of regional sports networks (RSN) income.

It’s easy to see why live sporting events are the lifeblood of television. It’s the one type of programming where the delay inherent in recorded viewing makes it an inadequate substitute. Loyal and passionate sports fans want to watch their teams or favorite players in real time. Because sports fans are captive, real-time participants, they may actually watch commercials during a live event. Compare that to a recorded sit-com or drama where viewers fast-forward or don’t record advertising. As a result of this niche for live sports, sponsor spending for ads on those shows has grown rapidly.

But the majority of revenue earned by RSNs comes in the form of payments by content carriers — cable television companies like Comcast and satellite companies like Dish and DirecTV.

Content carriers select and pay for a group of networks and offer them, generally as a whole, to consumers. For example, content carriers believe many of their viewers want to watch news shows, so they buy programming from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Content carriers believe many of their viewers want to watch shows about lifestyles, so they buy programming from the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Kids content means Disney and Nickelodeon.

And content carriers believe many of their viewers want to watch live sporting events, so they buy programming from ESPN, the Golf Channel and in this region, Fox Sports Ohio. In theory, Dish or other carriers could refuse ESPN’s or FSO’s asking price. (This has happened with baseball RSNs in Los Angeles and Houston, leading the networks to suffer huge losses. They have agreed to pay the ball clubs regardless. It’s also why, every once in a while, you see a network warning that a carrier is about to discontinue their programming.)

Every network, from Animal Planet to VH1, charges the content carrier a certain amount per subscription. The content carrier adds up all those subscription fees and that produces your monthly cable or satellite bill.

The system works because networks are paid by household, not eyeballs that actually watch their show. Every CATV subscriber pays for the Food Network whether or not they watch Chopped. Every Dish Network subscriber pays for the History Channel even if they’ve never seen an episode of American Pickers. And every last subscriber to our region’s content carriers pays for Jim Day, Chris Welsh and Co., whether or not they watch Reds games.

That’s how Fox Sports Ohio can pay the Reds $30 million per year to battle the St. Louis Cardinals.

Recent Rights Agreements

Regional baseball networks do well because the sport of baseball tends to be watched locally and because the 162 regular season games offer enough live programming to anchor their networks. That’s why RSNs are major league fits with major league baseball. That match has led to many lucrative contracts between MLB teams and regional sports networks.

How does the Cardinals deal stack up? At first blush, it sounds gigantic because of the word billion at the end of it. But in the context of industry practice, the payment to broadcast the Cardinal Way is nothing special. Here are the broad outlines of a few other recent agreements:

  • Texas Rangers (2010) – 20 years, $3.1 billion
  • Los Angeles Angels (2011) – 20 years, $ 3 billion
  • San Diego Padres (2012) – 20 years, $1.2 billion
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (2013) – 25 years, $8.35 billion
  • Seattle Mariners (2013) – 18 years, $2.5 billion
  • Philadelphia Phillies (2014) – 25 years, $5 billion
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (2015) – 20 years, $1.5 billion
  • St. Louis Cardinals (2015) – 15 years, $1 billion

Not only do teams receive the above cash payments, they also typically receive an ownership (equity) share in the RSN. An equity share means the baseball team receives a cut of the television network’s profits. Fox Sports West gave the Angels 25% equity. The equity share for the Rangers doubled the value of their agreement. The Cardinals received a 30% equity share.

The reason major league teams are so eager to negotiate for equity shares is because that income is not subject to MLB revenue sharing (34%). Revenue from owning a media company is considered media revenue not baseball revenue. The downside to equity shares is if the media company loses money, like in Houston and LA, the equity payment is reduced or zero.

Television Sets and Ratings

The size of a broadcasting rights deal depends on projected ratings and the number of television sets in the broadcast area.

Fortunately, the Reds have a history of strong ratings. Regular season Reds games are usually the #1 rated prime time show for content carriers in the region, drawing even more viewers than playoff games in the NBA and NHL. When the Reds were winning, their ratings (percent of households watching) were among the best in the league, along with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit and now Kansas City.

But ratings are highly sensitive to win-loss records. Studies show that over the past five years, eight more wins per season have translated into a one-point increase in ratings. That has certainly been the experience with the Reds. Notice on this chart of the Reds ratings dating back to 2007 how they peaked when the Reds were winning and declined the past three seasons as their wins were declining. But even at 5%, the Reds are in the upper half of MLB markets in terms of percentage of households.

Ratings

As you can see, ratings have fallen almost by more than a third since the peak of 2012.

While the Reds do well on a percentage basis, Cincinnati is a relatively small market. But the Reds’ media footprint extends beyond Cincinnati. Fox Sports Ohio broadcasts to over 5 million households in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, western Pennsylvania, western New York and West Virginia. Fox Sports South also airs Reds games in Tennessee and western North Carolina. Fox Sports Indiana, which reaches 1.2 million cable and satellite homes, carries most Reds games.

Dayton, Louisville, Lexington, Indianapolis, Columbus, Huntington and Charleston boost the population to more than 7.5 million people living within a 100-mile radius of GABP. That compares to 7 million for Atlanta, 6 million for Houston and 4 million for St. Louis within that same radius. The Reds average number of households in 2012 was 78,000, which put them in the top half of viewership. But, as this chart shows, that number has tracked the Reds win-loss record and declined in recent years.

01-591

By the end of 2014, the Reds average number of households watching games had fallen to almost half of the Cardinals number.

Television’s Uncertain Future

Internet streaming is a threat to traditional cable and satellite arrangements. Consumers are learning that they don’t need to subscribe to massive bundles of television channels to watch what they want. Netflix and Hulu provide huge content for less than $10 per month. HBO, Showtime and ESPN have begun streaming their programming on the internet.

Cable and satellite bundling as we know it now won’t last forever. Once enough consumers practice or threaten to “cut their cords” content carriers will be forced to disaggregate their bundles, at least somewhat. When that happens, networks like FSO and the Food Channel will be offered a la carte and only people who actually watch their shows will pay for the channel.

The looming threat to subscription fees posed by internet streaming has led some to speculate that major league baseball is facing a market bubble when it comes to big regional sports network contracts. Soon, RSNs will realize that the structure of the television market 10-15 years from now is anyone’s guess. They won’t want to get locked into long term pricy contracts with baseball teams. Under this theory, the Reds may be negotiating at a bad time.

But there are compelling reasons to believe the bursting bubble theory is overblown, at least anytime in the near future.

So far, there is little evidence that the fear or uncertainty is affecting negotiations. The ink is barely dry on the Cardinals deal and they got paid in full (although the 15-year duration is short by comparison to recent industry standards and may be a tell that content providers are hedging on the future). Likewise, there was no sign of a bubble in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 20-year agreement signed earlier this year.

While cord cutting will surely continue, a huge number of people – likely a critical mass for content providers – just won’t ever take those steps. If television loses 20% of its market to internet streaming, that’s a hit, but not a fatal loss of business.

And the bubble theory doesn’t account for a silver bullet MLB’s regional sports networks have at the ready.

In-Market Streaming

MLB makes live baseball available on several platforms beside television. MLB.TV Premium for computers and At Bat for mobile devices had a combined 3.5 million paid subscribers in 2014. That is by far the largest number of streaming customers for any professional sports league.

But a major drawback to those subscriptions is the local blackout policy. Fans can’t watch the games of their home town teams. If you live in Cincinnati, you can’t watch the Reds on MLB.TV or At Bat. The same is true for the 29 other baseball teams. That’s because of the legal rights owned by RSNs.

Regional network contracts – the exclusive right to visual broadcasts – stand in the way of home town fans watching their teams through streaming feeds. Absent sketchy individual tech solutions like virtual private networks or intervention by Federal courts, fans have no way to beat the local blackout. It’s unsurprising that blackout rules are intensely unpopular policies with fans.

Because of the public relations aspect (and because there’s a buck to be made) Rob Manfred, the new commissioner of baseball, has expressed an interest in providing a solution to the blackout problem. But any solution starts with MLB negotiating rights deals with RSNs. In-market streaming is coming and it will probably be tied to content carrier subscriptions. In other words, fans will be able to watch Reds games online, but only if they buy cable or satellite television. It’s possible that RSNs may cut out the content providers and make stand-alone deals. But either way, the RSN’s financial needs, and therefore those of the major league teams, get addressed. In-market streaming could easily make broadcast rights even more valuable than they are now.

When MLB does get into in-market streaming (maybe as soon as the 2016 season), they will be amazing at it. MLB’s Advanced Media (BAM), which began in 2000 as Bud Selig’s rag-tag in-house IT department tasked with creating respectable, uniform websites for the 30 teams, has become the most talented and reliable name in streaming video. BAM is BIG.

For organizations that want to stream a popular non-baseball event, BAM is the go-to option. BAM has won contracts to stream big ticket events like the World Cup and March Madness. It has recently been approved as a stand-alone media company reportedly valued at $8 billion. Remember, the 30 major league baseball teams own BAM and share the profits equally.

BAM recently signed the PGA and NHL as customers. As more sports organizations turn to BAM for its services, it doesn’t take much squinting to see the contours of a big, lucrative streaming sports bundle out there – one that won’t break a sweat compensating regional baseball networks like FSO for lost television revenues.

The Next Reds Deal

When the Reds do sign a new broadcasting deal, judge it not only by the annual payment figure, but also the duration, equity share and signing bonus.

RSN deals represent 25 percent of revenue for the average major league team. Because the Reds TV contract is old, their percentage isn’t that high. According to Forbes, the Reds annual revenue is $227 million. The $30 million the Reds receive from FSO is less than 15 percent.

While the Reds current contract doesn’t expire until the end of 2016, many RSN agreements get completed ahead of time. The Cardinals present-day contract doesn’t expire until the end of 2017. So it’s not out of the question that the Reds and FSO (if they win the bidding, more on that in a second) could announce a new deal any day.

A number of factors will influence the size of the Reds next contract. RSN profits depend on ratings. Ratings depend on wins among other things. Wins depend on players. That’s why this turns out to be the wrong time to trade away the Reds best and most popular players. Contracts like Joey Votto’s can partly pay for themselves through higher television ratings.

A scorched-earth rebuilding strategy may have a long-term, if uncertain, appeal. But such a course of action would have severe financial consequences that would reverberate back to limiting future payroll. Offering an RSN a leap-of-faith future where the team becomes competitive only in several years is a terrible negotiating position. While it’s fun to open up a window and shout Blow it Up!, it’s worth remembering that Howard Beale was killed because he had low ratings.

A second key variable is whether more than one RSN will bid for the Reds rights. Right now, FSO seems like the only viable option. But Time Warner is developing a small sports network that carries Cincinnati high school football, some college sports and Columbus Crew soccer games. A 162-game major league baseball schedule would fit right in. So maybe Time Warner makes a run at the Reds. Don’t forget, Time Warner Inc. is the same company that made the paradigm-shattering deal with the Dodgers. If TWC can put together a credible offer, it may trigger a Cincinnati-sized bidding war with Fox Sports Ohio, to the Reds’ benefit.

Based on number of households and ratings, the Reds next deal should fall somewhere between the one made by the Arizona Diamondbacks (2015) and San Diego Padres (2012).

The D-Backs new deal pays them $80 million/year from Fox Sports Arizona for 20 years, up from the current $30 million. The deal includes an equity stake as well. The Reds will get less than that.

San Diego is a larger city than Cincinnati, but with much lower ratings and therefore fewer households watching baseball. Under the terms of their 2012 deal, the Padres received $50 million per year, a $200 million signing bonus and a 20 percent equity stake in Fox Sports San Diego. The Reds should do better than that, especially considering a bit of inflation since 2012.

So expect something less than Arizona and more than San Diego.

That would put the Reds in the neighborhood of $70-75 million (which is consistent with other published estimates) per year on average. Look for the Reds to receive a sizable chunk of equity in the RSN, maybe 20-25 percent. An 8 or 9-figure signing bonus may be included. Higher annual payments are typically phased in over time. For example, for the Reds the new deal may start at $55 million in 2017 and grow to $85 million by the end of the contract.

The Reds agreement won’t pay as much per season as St. Louis’ new contract, but it will start a year before the latter deal kicks in. And it may be for a longer duration than 15 years. The Reds deal won’t quite match the Cardinals. But it won’t be far behind, either.

You can relax and go back to pondering the upside of Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen and Anthony DeScalfani.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce’s 2010 homer and Homer Bailey’s 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 40 Comments

  1. Steve;
    Thanks for an in-depth look at the “Dollars”. To many casual fans it may help them grasp the future of the Reds. The concerns over some of the contracts that have been expressed, will grow quieter as revenue increases.
    Once again thanks.

  2. Thank you for an incredibly detailed report.

    • Very good article—many times on this site, in commenting on different subjects, I have brought up the pending TV contract and its relationship to player contracts, trades and the like. While you might not like it (and baseball wise it might not even be smart) Chapman on TV 55 to 70 times (winning team reliever) is worth more than Chapman on TV 30 to 33 times as a full season starter. That’s just one example–another might be the Reds this off season being in the bidding for a big free agent that would be a surprise i.e. Leake or Cueto even though they just departed. It will be very interesting to see how the business of baseball plays out this off season for the Reds

      • “While you might not like it (and baseball wise it might not even be smart) Chapman on TV 55 to 70 times (winning team reliever) is worth more than Chapman on TV 30 to 33 times as a full season starter. ”

        Not sure I follow the logic here. So, you believe that more people will tune in with Chappy as a reliever? How would/will people know which 55 -70 games he is pitching? Are they just tuning in AFTER they know he’s in the game? How does that equate to more viewership than KNOWING he is starting 30-33 games? Wouldn’t that generate more eyeballs on the tube for an extended period of time?

        Even if you assume only a 5IP AND 25 starts, that’s 125 innings. Still 40-60% more innings than as a reliever….. ???

        • I think the data presented in the article is pretty compelling. Viewership is highly correlated to W-L. I have been surprised that the Reds have maintained their in stadium attendance, or at least ticket sales, over the past 3 seasons. If the Reds current utilization of Chapman is contributing more to the W-L record than utilizing him for more innings pitched as a starter or high leverage reliever, then the Reds are maximizing his monetary value regarding TV viewership. Personally, I think the Reds are missing the boat and they are paying for it in lost TV viewership.

      • I know why you are saying that Chapman in more games means something and maybe you’re right, but I just don’t think that’s the case. I would try to watch every one of his starts if he was a starter. Him pitching 6-8 innings would be fascinating and fun. I can’t imagine people watch a game just to see if he might get in the game for an inning late.

        I watch most of the games, but I get excited to watch certain starters like some of the higher ceiling young guys more than others. The relievers, even Chapman, don’t excite me to watch that much, and I certainly don’t watch 9 whole innings to see Chapman pitch one.

        But again, I’m good at being wrong, so who knows what people do.

        • Every one of Chapman’s starts would be appointment television. He could strike out 20 batters any time he pitched. An enormous missed opportunity.

        • I would watch every time I possibly could.

        • It’s like when I would make it a point to see Cueto pitch, rather in person or on the TV. I was going to watch that game if at all possible. There are a handful of guys in the league that I’ll follow like that as well and they are all starters.

        • I agree. I have watched all of Cueto’s starts with the Royals. Chapman starting would be ratings bonanza.

      • I respectfully think you are 100% incorrect. I’ve never ever tuned in to a game in the hopes that Chapman would pitch the 9th. I would ALWAYS make sure my calendar was clear for a Chapman start.

        I think I’m in the majority, too, with this behavior.

      • We have to come to terms about 2 things on Aroldis once and for all, whether we like it or not:

        1) Chapman won’t start for the Reds. Ever.

        2) Chapman is a side show. Forget about whatever number you want to bring to the table but the ones that are shown in the scoreboard after a fastball.

  3. Great read but I’m still struggling with this factoid–
    •Philadelphia Phillies (2014) – 25 years, $5 billion

    The Phillies?? Second largest contract & tied for # of years.

    • East coast city… lots of television sets in that market. Not too many years off of being very, very good. Doesn’t seem like too big of a surprise!

  4. A lot of good information here. This is a side of the game I simply know very, very little about.

  5. I wonder if the presence of the 2 Reds minor league affiliates so close to the home base of the reds has an affect on TV household watching TV.

  6. Great writeup of issues I know quite a bit about first hand. The potential demise of the bundle is a wildcard that may encourage the Reds to try and get a deal done sooner than later. Players within the industry that argue that the bundle business model is they way it should always be haven’t learned much from the disruption of other industries. And while I want the Reds to do well in this deal, it is fundamentally wrong at some level that subscribers that don’t watch sports subsidize them, much as taxpayers that don’t attend events subsidize TV sets (I mean stadiums) for teams.

  7. Looks like Fox has just reached a national agreement (which would include the Reds in 2016) with MLB to do in-market streaming next season. What I was talking about in the in-market streaming section of the post. Great development for the Reds and fans.

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/redsblog/2015/08/17/will-cincinnati-reds-games-stream-live-local/31863011/

    • I was going to post this and was checking first to see if anybody else had seen it. I think the future is now so to speak or very close to it.

      If I can buy FSN-OH (Reds and CBJ), ESPN, FS1, the BigTen channel (Buckeye Football) and NBCSN (Premier League/ NHL), either ala carte or streamed, full package cable/ satellite is gone for me. ESPN already has a portal in the Sling package DISH is streaming through outlets such Roku et al. I would look for one of the next steps to be for someone to start steaming team packages such OSU football independently of the particular network each individual event is produced by,

      Ironically, I think the straw that is breaking the camel’s back in many cases is that the nonsports watching viewers are walking away rather than pay the portion of their cable/ satellite bill which is a defacto sports surcharge. In the end I could care less, If I get the sports I want for, even 75 to 80% for what I pay DISH now, I’m still saving a nice chunk of change because everything else I want to see is free over the air.

    • If I understand it right, this deal still means I need a cable subscription to stream the game, which doesn’t help me that much.

    • You got me excited till I read the article. I thought it might be an option to stream reds through MLB.com and allow cord-cutting. The Reds are the only thing stopping me now that HBO made Game of Thrones available standalone. This just suggests that you could access streaming version if you subscribe to FSN already. Nice, but not a game changer for the way I watch TV.

  8. Congrats Steve on such an in-depth detailed article. Looks like a lot of work went into it.

    perfectly timed article, just argued a week ago with an anti-baseball fan/uber football fan. he was stating baseball viewing was die-ing off, then I dropped in comment “why all the MLB clubs getting new BILLION dollar tv deals”. this will absolutely STUN him. lol

    I sure hope these estimates for Reds new deal are close to being accurate. So when the next “Cueto, Bailey, Leake” come around (hopefully from this new crop of young pitching), Reds will be able to sign them and keep them.

  9. Enjoyed the article. Thanks for the insight.

  10. Very thorough coverage of a critically important part of the Reds’ future. Awesome stuff Steve. This is the only place to get information like this. There is no way you will find this sort of in-depth reporting in the Enquirer.

  11. Just to confirm the reach of FSN’s Reds package, I’ve travelled along I-75 to the south several times in the last year to 18 months and watched the Reds FSN coverage on motel/ hotel TV in such diverse locales as Corbin and Bowling Green KY, and Knoxville TN

  12. By far, the best article written by you, Mr. Mancuso. Congratulations.

    ” That’s why this turns out to be the wrong time to trade away the Reds best and most popular players”.

    That would explain many things (amidst the hard critics on WJ), like keeping Chapman or Frazier, even Bruce. Perhaps not the best baseball decisions, but certainly the right business decisions – not counting tickets- especially for a small market. I always thought Votto’s and BP’s extensions came on the heels of this.

  13. When chapman is traded are reds fans still going to lament him not being a starter? I doubt he will start with his future team. Dbacks weren’t going to start him.

    • Reds fans might well lament what could have been had the Reds decided to start Chapman. It will be curious to see if he ever starts in MLB. Rather he would have been successful as a starter is unknown. The fact that it’s unknown is what has so many in the fanbase wondering what might have been.

  14. I was never convinced he’d make it as a starter, but really, really, I don’t want to go there.

  15. When I commented multiple times these facts that the future Reds contract should have allowed them to resign Cueto and Leake I got heavily bashed.I said remember that the Reds may be called “small market” but they have the capabilities to reap huge profits,both now and when they sell the team.Now they are going to have a significant stake in FSO to add to that haul at the end of the rainbow.Reds fans need to stop calling this “a small market team”and start calling it what it really is.A group of businessmen who are going to make a fortune of $$$ whether the Reds fans get a winner or a loser.Open your eyes.

    • People call them a small market team because they are …well..a small market team.

      Even if the new deal matches STL ( it won’t) then Cueto and Leake were/are not affordable. Your revenue assumptions have no basis in reality.

      • The knowledge of a tv contract increase removes any assumption about revenue.Is that not undeniable?Thats not an assumption,its the reality.
        Why are you assuming that the tv contract increase will not jump up til 2023?Is that factual or an assumption?Either way its not like the organization is currently within pennies of break even(which I have stated isn’t even relevant in the long term).With the knowledge of the tv contract increase the $ could have been used to sign at least one of the two pitchers.

        • You seem to be operating under 2 assumptions:
          1. The Reds are currently very profitable and they currently have underutilized spending capacity.
          2. The new cable deal will produce a significant increase in revenue in 2017 and beyond.

          There is no data to suggest that the Reds are hoarding profits. It was reported that they lost money in 2013 and Forbes estimated they made 2.2 million in operating income last year. Operating income is calculated before taxes and debt payments so they like made very little last year. What evidence do you have to suggest anything different?

          Given the current media environment, a huge cable windfall is unlikely. Simply read any of the hundreds of articles around the problems ESPN is facing and it paints a grim picture.

          If we assume the Reds get a similar deal to the Cardinals, it’s improbable to believe that the Reds cable revenue will jump from 30 million to 66 million in one year. The 66 million ( 1 billion divided by 15) is likely a mid point figure. It’s highly probable such a deal would start around 47 million and increase from there. A 17 million increase ( assuming current cable revenue is 30 mil) in 2017 doesn’t pay for Cueto, let alone Cueto and Leake.

          Lastly, you seem to be focused solely on the Reds absolute revenue….yes, the Reds will likely have more revenue in 2 years than today. However, there relative revenue ( revenue relative to other teams) will likely by little changed.

  16. Let’s assume the Reds get a similar deal to St. Louis( it will be less) it’s important to note that the Reds will not get a huge 1 year jump in tv revenue.

    Let’s assume 15 years, 1 billion is what they get ( they won’t) That averages 66 million per year. …..they aren’t going to get 66 million in 2017. They likely won’t get to 66 million until 2023….it will start around 45 million and rise each year.

    They will continue to be on the low end of tv revenue…..if anything, based on the disruptions in the cable business, it’s possible that they receive no increase at all.

  17. If you have read any comments that I have made about profits in major sports you would understand that a break even or any profit is just a bonus to me.The real $ is made when franchises get sold.Do a little work and check out values of every team sold in the 4 major sports for any 10 year period.Just pick any team,any league sold and see the purchase price 10 years before.Thats where the real profit is made.The most recent team sold and that was under total duress was in the NHL.The Phoenix Coyotes.Check it out and keep in mind the city council wouldnt allow stadium construction and blocked 3 different sales.Still a huge profit from 10 years prior.The one before that also with question marks like crazy,the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.A perennial loser,2nd fiddle to the Lakers and a forced sale by the league.How’s 2 billion sound.Think they should squabble about signing players or ticket sales yr to yr.Im not sure who was the last baseball team sold,but even when the sad franchise in Tampa gets sold they will reap huge profits.Who cares if a franchise loses a few bucks in any given year.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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