SBD/Issue 47/Franchises

Braves' Revenue Rising; Payroll Expected To Increase

Braves Owner Liberty Media revealed in an SEC filing this week that the team had “robust revenue and cash flow last season,” and Braves Chair & CEO Terry McGuirk said that the club was “profitable and will spend ‘many millions more’ on next year’s player payroll,” according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  Liberty said that the Braves generated $101M in revenue and $34M in operating cash flow for the three-month period that ended September 30. That brings the Braves’ revenue to $151M and operating cash flow to $46M since Liberty acquired the franchise in May. While McGuirk said that the figures “represent a ‘snapshot’ from the 4½ high-revenue months and reflect a ‘wildly skewed’ picture of the Braves’ year-round financial performance,” he acknowledged the Braves are in a “very healthy state right now.” McGuirk: “The team has gone … from huge losses (in 2003) to close to break-even (in 2006) to minimal profitability this year -- minimal but encouraging profitability.” The team began the '07 season with an $81M payroll, and McGuirk noted that he “doesn’t have a 2008 payroll budget.” McGuirk: “When we think we have the right team for the right money, we’re going to stop. All I can tell you is we’re going to spend more money. We’ll spend many millions of dollars more” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/15).

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