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MLB TO DISCUSS REVENUE SHARING; ARE SUPERSTATIONS THE KEY?
Published March 20, 1996
Revenue-sharing is expected to top the agenda as MLB owners begin two days of meetings in Phoenix today. But, Hal Bodley reports unless owners can agree on how much superstations should pay to televise games, no approval is likely (USA TODAY, 3/20). In Tampa, Bill Chastain notes superstations have failed to pay anything since '92 -- "a situation that must be corrected" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/20). In L.A., Ross Newhan is more optimistic for an interim revenue-sharing agreement this week. One club official says the small-market teams "have the votes" to approve a plan for '96. The interim plan "is said to be similar to the transition phase" of the Fort Lauderdale plan, approved in '94. Under that plan, 13 clubs would give and 13 would receive, with '93 expansion teams Colorado and Florida excluded. Each of the high-revenue clubs "would basically provide 22% of their local revenue to the subsidy fund." Management is "convinced" they could receive union approval for such a plan (L.A. TIMES, 3/20). In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt also expects approval for revenue- sharing plan, but reports an interim plan would have all teams contribute to a fund to be split among small-market clubs (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/20). Baltimore's Peter Angelos said that revenue-sharing this season would be "problematic" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/20). In Houston, Alan Truex writes there is "reason to doubt" that revenue-sharing will be approved (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/20). ALSO ON THE AGENDA: Owners will also discuss the state of labor talks, the A's decision to open in Las Vegas, and the sale of the Cardinals (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20). NOT ON THE AGENDA: Nolan Ryan, visiting the Rangers camp Monday, said he would consider becoming commissioner if asked -- but "only on his terms." Jim Reeves reports Ryan "would never take the job as it is today ... gutted of power," but would consider it if restructured (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/20)....Acting Commissioner Bud Selig calls D'Backs Owner Jerry Colangelo's idea of a neutral-site World Series "interesting" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/20).