Sources: Royals Could Reach Deal With FS K.C. By Season's End
The Royals and FS K.C. continue to negotiate a new TV contract, and a deal could "reach fruition by the regular season’s end," according to sources cited by Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. A new deal, "likely in the 10- to 15-year range," is expected to bring the Royals somewhere near the $48-52M range per year in rights fees. The Royals’ current 11-year deal with the RSN, which "expires after this season, was backloaded" and will bring the Royals about $25M this season, though its average annually was closer to $20M. Negotiations for a new deal between the Royals and FS K.C. have been "slowed this year by outside factors, namely Sinclair’s pending deal" to purchase all the RSNs from Disney. A new TV deal "won’t necessarily be a financial game-changer for the small-market Royals, who would still have one of the lowest TV revenue deals in baseball." But the new deal would be "on par" with K.C.'s market size (MLB.com, 8/24).
FISHING FOR A DEAL: In Ft. Lauderdale, Wells Dusenbury writes much like the Royals, the Marlins are "stuck with a similarly bad media rights deal" with FS Florida, receiving just $15-20M annually. As a small market team, "securing a strong TV contract is vital." The Marlins "need to generate more revenue to spend on payroll and this can provide the franchise with a significant -- and necessary -- financial boost." While the Royals "draw better TV ratings, the Marlins have the benefit of being in a larger media market." Despite the larger market, the Royals’ TV ratings have been "more than five times better than the Marlins." With a year and a half still left on the current deal, there is "no immediate rush for the Marlins" and FS Florida to finalize a new contract (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 8/26).