The “Michael Corleone” contraction theory

16 Comments

Let’s be clear at the outset: contraction is not happening. Even in the articles that talk about people talking about contraction — like Joel Sherman’s from yesterday — it is stipulated that, no this is a non-starter. So what I’m saying is, don’t cite this post or the Sherman column I’m linking as “continuing contraction rumors” or whatever because it’s just talk. It’s like if I were to go on about how Carla Gugino and I could spend a long weekend in a cottage at Big Sur, sipping expensive wine and feeding each other the finest meats and cheeses while listening to Billie Holliday records. Great topic — totally fun topic! — but it doesn’t really mean anything.  Well, to anyone besides me, to whom it means everything.

The point: Joel Sherman hears how the contraction thing — which totally isn’t happening — would go down if it were, you know, actually happening.  Sherman calls it his Michael Corleone theory, in that it would be used by Bud Selig to settle all family business.  Best I can tell is that The Athletics would be Carlo Rizzi and the Rays would be Moe Greene, with Lew Wolff and Stuart Sternberg moving in to take over the Dodgers and the Mets, respectively after Frank McCourt and Fred Wilpon get whacked.  Which I guess makes them Barzini and Tattaglia.

Anyway, Sherman talks about how that would all make sense, and also talks about why it won’t happen (same reasons I mentioned a couple of weeks ago).

I hate the idea of contraction, but I like the idea of Bud Selig settling scores like that. Makes him way more interesting.  But I still don’t know who “Strachi” was and why Michael had him whacked by Clemenza in the elevator. Even if Clemenza looked cool firing that shotgun through the door.

Fox, MLB sign broadcast rights extension through 2028

Getty Images
14 Comments

FOX Sports and Major League Baseball announced a few minutes ago that they have agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights extension. The deal keeps Fox as the lead MLB rights holder, and home of the World Series, All-Star Game and a good chunk of the playoffs through at least 2028.

While the press release does not announce the financial terms, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that it will pay Major League Baseball about 30-40% more than the previous contract. While ratings are not what they used to be, it would seem that the eyeballs Fox is getting are more valuable to it.

UPDATE: That bump is actually even bigger:

For the time being, things will look very much like they do now. Starting in 2022, there will be more games broadcast. There are no specifics about how many more. The release says “FOX Sports will also expand its digital rights,” but again, no specifics on what that means, exactly.

FOX Sports has been a baseball rights-holder since 1996 and has been the exclusive national non-cable rights holder since 2001. That’s gonna continue for at least another decade.