SBD/March 4, 2014/Franchises

Braves' Revenue In '13 Up $36M Thanks To Revised TV Deal, Higher Ticket Prices

Liberty did not disclose the Braves’ total revenue or operating income for '13
Liberty Media, which owns the Braves, on Friday reported that team revenue increased by $36M last year, a 16% "boost over the previous year," according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Liberty in a financial filing said that the team’s "adjusted operating income (revenue less expenses) before depreciation and amortization also increased significantly" in '13 -- by $20M. Liberty did "not disclose the Braves’ total revenue or operating income for 2013." Liberty attributed the Braves’ revenue increase last year to "broadcast rights issues -- an apparent reference to moving 45 games from Peachtree TV to Fox Sports South and SportSouth -- as well as 'slightly greater fan attendance and slightly higher average prices per ticket and concession spend per turnstile'” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 3/1).

KEEPING THE CORE: The Braves recently signed extensions with 1B Freddie Freeman, RF Jason Heyward, SS Andrelton Simmons, and Ps Craig Kimbrel and Julio Teheran, and in N.Y., Tyler Kepner writes giving long-term contracts to "proven young players is smart business." However, the "promise of a new park made the deals easier to handle for the Braves, a franchise that has only twice exceeded" $100M in payroll. Braves President John Schuerholz: "It didn't motivate us to do it, but it was comforting to know that while we were doing it, we had this coming on the horizon." The Braves' revised TV deal last year "substantially raised the team's broadcast revenue," but Schuerholz said that it only moved the team "to the middle of the pack" in MLB (N.Y. TIMES, 3/4). In DC, Adam Kilgore notes the Braves’ "rapid-fire deal-making as spring training began ... surprised not only the baseball world but also those inside the organization by signing all five targeted players." In all, the Braves committed $280.7M for 27 seasons, "all of them prime years." As the Braves showed, the "best method of securing talent can be locking up players before they’re eligible for arbitration" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/4).
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