Sources: Marlins, Sinclair In "Serious" Talks Over New TV Deal
The Marlins' TV deal expires after '20, and the team and Sinclair Broadcast Group are in "ongoing, serious negotiations about a new contract," according to sources cited by Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. The agreement paid the team an "MLB-low" $18M last season and will pay $20M this coming season. Before CEO Derek Jeter took over, the Marlins presented to him a "Fox contract extension proposal that called for a rights fee beginning north of" $50M. Jeter "told the Marlins not to take that deal and to allow the new ownership to negotiate its own contract." Jeter's contract refusal was "understandable," but what is "unclear now is whether Sinclair is offering that amount, let alone more." In an early version of Jeter's financial documents "shared with potential investors when he was trying to buy the team, he projected annual local broadcast revenue (almost all from TV)" to be $51.6M in '21 and $53.6M in '22. Whatever "rights-fee spike the Marlins are able to extract from Sinclair/Fox will instantly boost revenue," and an additional $20M or so in annual player payroll "could be riding on the outcome of those negotiations" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/24).