MLB Teams Will Receive At Least $100 Million Annually From TV Rights Contracts

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Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s two new television rights deals are set to begin during the 2022 season and will bring a substantial revenue increase to the league. MLB previously agreed to the seven-year contracts with Turner Sports and ESPN that are set to run through the 2028 season

The deals make TBS the exclusive home to the most MLB Postseason games of any network, along with giving them a new season-long Tuesday night game broadcast and expansive digital rights for Bleacher Report and additional WarnerMedia platforms.

Meanwhile, ESPN will exclusively televise 30 regular-season games annually, including 25 editions of Sunday Night Baseball, and the MLB Little League Classic. ESPN will also exclusively televise five additional games each season, including an Opening Night telecast and they continue to hold the exclusive broadcast of the Home Run Derby as part of its cross-platform MLB All-Star coverage.

From the financial side, the revenue will be split to give each team $60.1 million annually; Combined with local TV deals that are worth at least $40 million each, every MLB club will make at least $100 million from TV deals alone, according to Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus:

As MLB and the players continue to negotiate the financials of the game during the lockout, the TV rights deals shed light on the sport’s financials that have been kept secret as much as possible.

Prominent agent Scott Boras previously said the lucrative TV money further demonstrated to MLB fans that the sport is still thriving financially despite what team owners have been publicly suggesting.

Along with the TV deals, MLB teams also receive extra money through revenue sharing. Each team pools 48% of the revenue they earn and the total amount is then split evenly (3.3% of the total) and given to each team. Teams receive more than $110 million through revenue sharing.

With the previous CBA, Revenue sharing was supposed to be used for each team to improve their team, but nearly half the league had a payroll below $100 million last season. Clubs have been using loopholes to invest the money into their scouting and player development systems and other areas without improving their team on the field.

This is part of the reason the average team payrolls have declined every season since their previous high in 2017 despite revenue increasing in MLB every year aside from 2020’s pandemic-shortened season.

MLB submitting CBA proposal Saturday

Now only a handful of days before Spring Training camps are scheduled to open, MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) still remain far apart in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Last month, the union presented a counteroffer that was met by an exchange from the league. Although consecutive days of meetings were held, the idea progress had been made was tempered.

As for the latest round of negotiations, MLB is due to present a counteroffer to the MLBPA on Saturday.

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