Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez want to acquire regional sports network SNY their potential purchase of the Mets, according to Thornton McEnery and Josh Kosman of the New York Post. Though there have questions about the Mets’ current financial viability since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, SNY continues to be a profitable enterprise. The Post’s report says that current owners Jeff and Fred Wilpon are unwilling to part with the network. The Wilpons reportedly own 65% of SNY.
If the Mets really are losing money at a dramatic rate and SNY is the only thing keeping the whole operation afloat, it seems highly unlikely that any buyers would want to purchase the team without the network being included. New ownership would ideally provide a more financially stable situation than the Wilpons do. But it feels highly counterintuitive to tell buyers to expect to operate at a loss with their new team after dropping more than a billion dollars on the transaction.
It’s unclear if this posturing is meant to be a bargaining tactic or if the Wilpons are genuinely against including the network in the sale. That level of stubbornness would unfortunately not be anything new for the owners. It was Jeff Wilpon’s insistence that he be allowed to control the Mets for six additional years that caused the sale of the team to investor Steve Cohen to fall apart earlier this year. The $2.6 billion deal did not include SNY.
The Post reports that SNY, which is a separate entity from the Mets, has ten years left on its broadcasting contract with the team. The report also states that the Wilpons have been asking for all capital commitments from the teams’ minority owners in recent weeks, indicating that the franchise is under serious financial duress.
As we recently wrote, a global pandemic that’s forced the sport to shut down is not exactly the greatest backdrop for a sale of a baseball team. The pandemic itself is likely what’s causing the team to bleed money given that the Mets aren’t currently taking in any gate revenue.
If the team is sold in the near future, it will be a weird transaction. But that’s pretty in-character for the Mets, isn’t it?