Forbes has released its annual franchise valuation package. In short: it’s good to own a ballclub:
The average Major League Baseball team rose 16% in value during the past year, to an all-time high of $605 million. In 2011, revenue (net of payments to cover stadium debt) for the league’s 30 teams climbed to an average of $212 million, a 3.4% gain over the previous season.
Obviously some teams do better than others, but that’s pretty healthy growth. And where is all of that value and dough coming from? Local TV:
Rights fees paid by cable television channels are behind the growth in team values. Aggregate cable television revenue for baseball’s 30 teams has increased to $923 million from $328 million over the past 10 years.
And that’s only going to increase — to as high as $1.5 billion by 2015, Forbes estimates — as new deals for the Angels, Rangers, Astros, Padres and Dodgers kick in.
Driving all of this is your DVR, which has devalued advertising for most programming, but which largely doesn’t impact live sports because people really like to watch live sports live. That has sent rights fees skyrocketing as Fox, Comcast and others have been willing to pony up big to show content with commercials people will actually watch. This is almost an almost exclusively local phenomenon too, as national rights have not been up for bid for a while and won’t be until next year.
Which, by the way, is another reason why anyone slamming baseball this fall over its abysmal national ratings and claiming that the sport is in trouble compared to the NFL has no idea what they’re talking about.
Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.
Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.
Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.
Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.