SBD/23/Franchises

MEDIA CONGLOMERATES ENTRY INTO BASEBALL: IS VIACOM NEXT?

          The message sent by MLB owners in approving the Dodgers
     sale to Rupert Murdoch's Fox Group was that "the pluses of
     having Fox's vast financial resources, as well as its
     expertise on global television and marketing, outweigh
     serious potential conflicts," according to Richard Sandomir
     of the N.Y. TIMES.  Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: "You
     have worries about conflicts.  But the returns on Disney,
     Tribune and Time Warner have been to the contrary.  They've
     been great partners."  Giants Exec VP Larry Baer said that
     "any analysis of a media company owning a team is more
     positive than negative" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21).  In L.A., Thomas
     Mulligan wrote that media companies "are pushing further
     into sports ownership in a trend that shows no sign of
     reversing. ... The biggest motivator in the trends, experts
     say, is fear of getting locked out of sports."  Smith Barney
     analyst Spencer Gaines said that Cablevision buying the
     Yankees would be "a preemptive strike against what happened
     in Los Angeles with ESPN West" (L.A. TIMES, 3/21).  In
     Boston, Peter Gammons wrote to "expect Viacom to be the next
     media giant to buy into baseball and widen the chasm between
     the haves and the have-notes" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/23).  A N.Y.
     TIMES editorial dismissed concern over Murdoch's purchase of
     the Dodgers: "Baseball has always been a business run, with
     rare exceptions, by proprietors with an aversion to red ink
     far stronger than their professed loyalty to the traditions,
     rhythms and solidifying virtues of the game."  What matters,
     "in the end" are "the numbers. ... That is just what
     mattered to Mr. O'Malley and, if history is a guide, that is
     all that will matter to Mr. Murdoch" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22).

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug