March 7, 2021

MLB Isn’t Losing TV Revenues Yet (FanGraphs)


Underpinning the agreement between the players and owners about how to approach this season is an acknowledgement that revenues are going to be down in 2020, no matter when this season starts. To start, the season itself is in jeopardy as the country and world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. And even if games are played, there are likely to be fewer than the typical 162; some of those games might not have any fans in physical attendance at all. Baseball teams are bound to take a huge loss at the gate compared to previous years. Whether MLB and its individual teams will take similar losses with their television partners isn’t as clear.

Before getting to the television money, though, let’s do a quick hypothetical on ticket sales. Forbes estimated thatin 2018, MLB teams took in around $2.8 billion at the gate. If teams play a half slate of games this year, and get half as much money at the gate in those games, we end up with $700 million in gate receipts and roughly $2 billion in revenue losses over a typical season. Now, if players receive only half their salaries, those losses basically even out. That isn’t to say that there aren’t a large number of associated…

Read “MLB Isn’t Losing TV Revenues Yet” at FanGraphs