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Marlins TV Rights Negotiations


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On the 2020 Bold Predictions Thread I posted that my off-field prediction was that the Marlins would sign with a streaming service (ESPN+, Amazon Prime, etc.). Many have asked questions since and I’m posting this thread to answer some of those questions.

 

Q1: Hm, where'd you hear that? I mean, I'm not surprised, but curious where you're hearing it.

 

The Marlins posted a statement earlier in the off-season that distanced themselves from a speedy renewal with Fox Sports Florida.

 

The statement said that the: Marlins are determined "to find the right partner to deliver the right product to our fans at the right rate that allows us to fill in the building blocks to a sustainable business.”

 

This reads as if Jeter & Co. have been trying to get the best deal possible since they took over and Sinclair (new owners of Fox Sports Florida) aren’t budging. The part of the statement that reads at “right product to our fans at the right rate” reads as if they are looking to sign with a streaming service.

 

If they were more optimistic of a renewal the statement would have read like this. “We are making progress in negotiations with Fox Sports Florida in securing TV rights beyond the 2020 season. We look forward to ironing out the remaining details and providing Marlins fans with the best coverage in the 2021 season and beyond.”

 

Q2: Also, wouldn't that mean new announcers?

 

No, all play-by-play and color commentators are hired by the organization. Studio personnel are hired by the network with input from the organization.

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Well, publicly saying you want to have a deal with the same people you're with takes away your leverage.

 

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I was just saying their argument in the past when they let Tommy and Rich go was that the network dropped them, not the team.

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Well, publicly saying you want to have a deal with the same people you're with takes away your leverage.

 

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I was just saying their argument in the past when they let Tommy and Rich go was that the network dropped them, not the team.

At this stage of the negotiations, the Marlins should be close to an agreement with Fox Sports Florida by now. They have been negotiating with Fox Sports Florida since 2017 when Jeter & Co. took over. If they haven’t made significant progress in the last 27 months then it’s unlikely that they will come to an agreement.

 

The reason why the quote is concerning is because it indicates that they aren’t close to an agreement and are beginning to look at other options.

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At this stage of the negotiations, the Marlins should be close to an agreement with Fox Sports Florida by now. They have been negotiating with Fox Sports Florida since 2017 when Jeter & Co. took over. If they haven’t made significant progress in the last 27 months then it’s unlikely that they will come to an agreement.

 

The reason why the quote is concerning is because it indicates that they aren’t close to an agreement and are beginning to look at other options.

 

Remember, too, they let Chip Bowers go, presumably related to a lack of progress on the TV deal (that was part of his job).

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Remember, too, they let Chip Bowers go, presumably related to a lack of progress on the TV deal (that was part of his job).

Sinclair might be getting cold feet because of the performance of the team in the past few years.

If these are there options:

Sinclair (Fox Sports Florida): 10 Year Deal $40 Million 1st Year, $70 Million 10th Year

ESPN+: 5 Year Deal $65 Million 1st Year, $85 Million 5th Year

If those are the scenarios you go with ESPN+.

 

If we get $20 Million more to go to a streaming provider you have to take it, that’s an Ace starter or a power bat. Plus, as part of the deal you can set aside 25 games to go on OTA TV (WTVJ, WPLG, WSVN, WFOR, syndicate to WPB, Fort Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville), this would give the team better exposure than being on cable and more flexibility to spend on free agents.

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I agree with the premise of more money from the deal, but I'm not sure putting it on a extra streaming service you're asking people to pay for gets you more exposure.

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I agree with the premise of more money from the deal, but I'm not sure putting it on a extra streaming service you're asking people to pay for gets you more exposure.

 

Ya but end of day thats not necessarily the Marlins main problem.

 

It is up to the streaming services to get subscribers.

 

If streaming service is going to pay you 80 mil per year as opposed to Sinclair paying you 50 mil per year....

 

Its almost a no brainer.

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I agree with the premise of more money from the deal, but I'm not sure putting it on a extra streaming service you're asking people to pay for gets you more exposure.

The 25-35 games on OTA broadcast stations would provide more brand exposure than what we have now on cable with Fox Sports Florida.

 

The ratings prove being on OTA Broadcast TV is better than being on cable.

10PM Ratings (# of households)

WSVN: 250,000-300,000

WPLG: 150,000-250,000

Fox Sports Florida: 19,000

 

Plus you can put games on WSCV (Telemundo) which gets 300,000+ households nightly and provides a way for the team to bolster it’s Hispanic marketing campaign.

 

So we can have 500,000 households watching the Marlins in the future instead of 19,000, plus an additional $20 Million and the OTA games act as a “free trial” of ESPN+ in a sense to drive subscriber growth, plus fans won’t need a cable subscription to watch games they just pay ESPN $4.99 (current rate).

 

Everyone Wins!

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What's the hold up with the TV deal? Are the Marlins asking for too much? I'm not one who believes that the performance of the team in recent years has that much to do with the negotiations because there's only 30 MLB teams, having one on your network will bring that network significant numbers, compared to not having the team, even if the team sucks. You wouldn't think Fox Sports doesn't actually want the Marlins on their regional networks. I'm just thinking there should be more demand even for the damn Miami Marlins so I'm curious if the team is somehow screwing these negotiations up.

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The regional networks were being thrown around between companies for around a year, so that may have slowed down negotiations. It went from Fox to Disney to Sinclair.

Also, Dish Network and fuboTV have dropped the Fox RSNs. This results in lower advertisement rates along with the decrease in subscriber revenue.

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With the current TV deal expired after the 2020 season, we would got the new TV deal and lots lots lots of BIG MONEY after the 2020 season ANYWAY, it's something that really makes me excited for the 2021 season and beyond …I just couldn't imagine how difficult situation this team would be if the current SUCK TV deal would lasting for many more years.

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The regional networks were being thrown around between companies for around a year, so that may have slowed down negotiations. It went from Fox to Disney to Sinclair.

Sinclair is the essential devil.

 

You know how everyone was talking about the bubble bursting on the network deals?

 

Sinclair is that bubble burster.

 

Read up on them if you don't know much about them.

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Sinclair is the essential devil.

 

You know how everyone was talking about the bubble bursting on the network deals?

 

Sinclair is that bubble burster.

 

Read up on them if you don't know much about them.

 

The Royals had an average annual value of $25 Million in their previous TV deal.

 

In their new 10-15 year TV deal the AAV will be $50 Million.

 

The Marlins are now receiving about $18-20 Million per year. If we extrapolate using the new Royals TV contract at a 100% increase the Marlins would only get $36-40 Million over a 10 year deal.

 

In contrast, WGN paid the Cubs $250,000 per game from 2015-2019. That is 162 x $250,000= $40 Million per year. Even in the smaller Miami Market we could get $27-35 Million to go on OTA TV only (WPLG, WSVN, etc.) and syndicate to WPB, Fort Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville.

 

If you owned a team would you rather earn $36-40 Million with 19,000 Households Watching or $27-35 Million with 175,000-225,000 Households watching? You could make up the difference in revenue through merchandise sales from the additional 150,000+ Households watching your team.

 

Based on these figures it looks like the RSN bubble is bursting. A combination of Streaming and OTA broadcast TV is best to boost brand exposure and increase fan accessibility.

If the streaming companies aren’t interested, give all 162 games to WPLG or WSVN. The number of households that would be watching the Marlins would increase tenfold from 19,000 to 175,000-225,000.

 

https://www.mlb.com/news/royals-close-to-new-tv-deal-with-fox-sports-kc

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The marlins didn’t do themselves any favors by essentially sabotaging their ratings with the sell off after Jeter took over.

 

and you also pretty much summarized what I said.

 

the problem with the marlins is exasperated by insanely low ratings that was mostly done due to their own actions as I predicted 2 years ago.

 

but hey actions have consequenceS. so maybe this was the plan all along

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The marlins didn’t do themselves any favors by essentially sabotaging their ratings with the sell off after Jeter took over.

 

and you also pretty much summarized what I said.

 

the problem with the marlins is exasperated by insanely low ratings that was mostly done due to their own actions as I predicted 2 years ago.

 

but hey actions have consequenceS. so maybe this was the plan all along

Not only is your prediction correct, it’s now being backed up by the numbers that have recently been released. A couple of years ago, this was introduced as a possibility but many were shrugging it off. It’s now reality.

 

In this new environment, if you can’t get the money via rights fees you go to local broadcast stations and take less money in exchange for brand exposure.

 

For many of us over 35 years old, our first memories of watching baseball were:

The Braves on WTBS

The Cubs on WGN and WGN America

The Yankees on WWOR

The Mets on WPIX

The Dodgers on KCAL

and the list goes on...

 

The reason why all of the franchises above have huge fanbases is because they were willing to trade in some of their rights fees for greatly increased brand exposure. Their business acumen has proved correct as their fanbases have bought much more in tickets and merchandise to more than make up the revenue difference compared to if they were on subscription TV alone.

 

The smartest move if I was Derek Jeter is:

1. Shop the rights around with streaming services such as ESPN+ and Amazon.

2. If the streaming services are interested and willing to pay over $65 Million in First Year of a Contract, Reserve 20 games to be simulcasted on ESPN+ and a combination of WSVN, WPLG, and WSFL in English (Each broadcast network gets 10-30 games) and WSCV Telemundo in Spanish, ESPN+ gets the proceeds of selling the local broadcasts in this scenario.

3. If streaming services are not interested give Fox Sports Florida the rights to air 162 games for the best possible price, BUT stipulate that the Marlins will be selling 40 games to simulcast on local broadcast stations, then sell the 40 games to WSVN and WPLG (two highest rated stations in the Miami market) in English and WSCV (highest rated Spanish station) and syndicated to outer markets such as WPB, Fort Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville. Selling the games to broadcast stations should bring in about $100,000-$150,000 per game so.

 

Scenario 2: $65 Million+ (if streaming services are interested)

 

Scenario 3: $55 Million + $100,000-$150,000 x 40 OTA games= $59-61 Million

 

Both scenarios provide increased brand exposure and more money than a 162 game exclusive renewal with Fox Sports Florida (Sinclair) (About $50-58 Million).

 

This discussion is the most important discussion this forum will have this decade, it will decide whether we are even able to compete with other organizations for free agents in future offseasons. If the organization botches this media rights deal, it could set the team back a decade.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will it be included with amazon prime?

I hope so, and if so, I hope the marlins get in on it. I've been really happy with my Prime membership and would be really excited if it included my fish.

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I hope so, and if so, I hope the marlins get in on it. I've been really happy with my Prime membership and would be really excited if it included my fish.

Your fish? Hey guys, this must be Bruce Sherman! Why didn't you say so earlier?!

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No way they wont raise the price of Prime or not make that an add on to your Prime subscription.

 

Then again its Amazon and they dont run like most companies (i.e. actually make money)

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