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MLBPA lodges complaint against Marlins, Pirates

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Late last night Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA was investigating whether or not the Marlins and Pirates, who have both shed payroll this offseason, are reinvesting their money into baseball operations rather than pocketing it. This afternoon Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the union has taken a complaint about it to Major League Baseball.

Jackson reports the official statement from the union:

“We have raised our concerns regarding both Miami and Pittsburgh with the Commisioner, as is the protocol under the collective bargaining agreement and its revenue sharing provisions,” players union spokesman Greg Bouris told the Miami Herald. “We are waiting to have further dialogue and that will dictate our next steps.”

Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, “each Club shall use its revenue sharing receipts . . .  in an effort to improve its performance on the field.” Major League Baseball can impose penalties onto clubs that do not appropriately reallocate their revenue sharing profits for competitive purposes. The Marlins have been in this situation before. Back in 2010 the union lodged a similar complaint and Major League Baseball acted. That resulted in the Marlins increasing payroll, at least for a time.

Both the Marlins and Pirates are receiving revenue sharing money and each are going to receive at least $50 million and perhaps as much as $65 million in payment from MLB’s sale of the BAMTech to Walt Disney. If the league — and, it should be noted, the other owners who are paying those clubs revenue sharing dollars — believe the Pirates and Marlins are pocketing that money instead of using it to improve their clubs, they will likely order them to open their wallets.

 

Fox, MLB sign broadcast rights extension through 2028

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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.