SBD/March 23, 2012/Franchises

Increases In Forbes MLB Team Valuations Being Driven By New Local TV Deals

MLB is “flourishing thanks to cable companies’ desire for live baseball programming,” according to FORBES’ Mike Ozanian, who outlined the latest team values for the ’12 season. The average MLB team “rose 16% in value during the past year, to an all-time high of $605 million,” and rights fees paid by cable television channels are “behind the growth in team values.” Aggregate cable television revenue for baseball’s 30 teams “has increased to $923 million from $328 million over the past 10 years,” and local TV revenue “could exceed $1.5 billion in 2015.” The Yankees are the “most valuable team in baseball, worth $1.85 billion,” tying them with the Cowboys for the “top spot among American sports teams and placing them second in the world” to EPL club Manchester United’s worth of $1.9B. YES Network generated a “staggering $224 million in operating income and paid the Yankees a $90 million rights fee in 2011.” The Red Sox, whose parent Fenway Sports Group owns 80% of NESN, “generated $60 million from NESN in 2011, at $1 billion this year.” Both the Cubs, who rose 14% in value, to $879 million, and the Phillies, who increased 19% in value, to $723 million, "are expected to enjoy huge increases in local television revenue when their current deals expire.” The Cubs “contract with WGN, which televises about half the team’s games, ends following the 2014 season and its deal with Comcast SportsNet Chicago expires after 2019.” The Phillies’ TV deal with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia “expires after the 2015 season.” Only the Mets and Rays “went down in value” this season (FORBES.com, 3/21).

RK
TEAM
VALUE
1-YR
% +/-
DEBT/
VALUE
REVENUE
OPERATING INCOME
1 Yankees
$1.85B
9%
2%
$439M
$10M
2 Dodgers
$1.4B
75%
41%
$230M
$1.2M
3 Red Sox
$1.0B
10%
24%
$310M
$25.4M
4 Cubs
$879M
14%
66%
$266M
$28.1M
5 Phillies
$723M
19%
24%
$249M
-$11.6M
6 Mets
$719M
-4%
69%
$225M
-$40.8M
7 Rangers
$674M
20%
55%
$233M
$15.3M
8 Angels
$656M
18%
3%
$226M
-$1.2M
9 Giants
$643M
14%
16%
$230M
$8.8M
10 White Sox
$600M
14%
7%
$214M
$10.7M
11 Cardinals
$591M
14%
47%
$233M
$25M
12 Mariners
$585M
30%
0%
$210M
$2.2M
13 Astros
$549M
16%
41%
$196M
$24.3M
14 Twins
$510M
4%
20%
$213M
$16.6M
15 Braves
$508M
5%
0%
$203M
$20.7M
16 Nationals
$480M
15%
52%
$200M
$25.9M
17 Tigers
$478M
24%
39%
$217M
$8.2M
18 Rockies
$464M
12%
15%
$193M
$14.4M
19 Orioles
$460M
12%
33%
$179M
$12.9M
20 Padres
$458M
13%
44%
$163M
$23.2M
21 Marlins
$450M
25%
32%
$148M
$8.9M
22 Brewers
$448M
19%
27%
$195M
$19.2M
23 D'Backs
$447M
13%
39%
$186M
$27.2M
24 Reds
$424M
13%
10%
$185M
$17.1M
25 Blue Jays
$413M
23%
0%
$188M
$24.9M
26 Indians
$410M
16%
27%
$178M
$30.1M
27 Royals
$354M
1%
14%
$161M
$28.5M
28 Pirates
$336M
11%
38%
$168M
$15.9M
29 Rays
$323M
-2%
36%
$161M
$26.2M
30 A's
$321M
5%
28%
$160M
$14.6M
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