Major League Baseball has five years of labor peace, new ad revenue streams, expanding playoffs and a couple of new national broadcast deals.
It’s no surprise, then, that an annual survey of franchise values shows a record level of appreciation for many franchises.
Forbes’ annual analysis of estimated MLB franchise values shows the New York Yankees again topping the list and hitting the $6 billion plateau, joining the Dallas Cowboys (an estimated $6.5 billion). as the most valuable global franchises.
MLB imposed a lockout spanning 99 days as the league and the MLB Players Association engaged in a long-awaited showdown after years of salary stagnation despite rising revenue. While the players made some profit on the new deal, which was ratified on March 11, future revenues will still outstrip expenses.
The expanded playoffs will be worth between $65 million and $100 million annually, easily covering the $50 million bonus pool established for high-achieving young players in the new CBA. The advertising patches on helmets and jerseys, coming into effect in 2023, will provide both local and national revenue streams.
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Meanwhile, most big-market franchises are still in the early stages of multimillion-dollar local TV deals, even as the industry grapples with the existential crisis of cutting the cord and how to broadcast games to fans without upsetting fans. broadcast partners. The Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Forbes, received $189 million in local television revenue in 2021.
The Dodgers are in the ninth year of a 25-year, $8.35 billion television deal with Spectrum SportsNet LA. The club is second in the Forbes ranking, with $4.075 billion.
The top four teams appreciated 13-14%, with the Boston Red Sox ($3.9 billion) and Chicago Cubs ($3.8 billion) both enjoying new revenue streams and diversifying their sports portfolios. Red Sox owner John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group owns English Premier League soccer club Liverpool, while the Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs, is bidding for EPL side Chelsea FC.
That effort comes two years after Cubs president Tom Ricketts claimed “biblical” losses were suffered during the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, which kept fans out of stadiums but also cut costs. player salaries by about two-thirds.
Twelve of the 30 MLB franchises are now estimated to be worth at least $2 billion, and the Washington Nationals’ 12% appreciation now puts them above that mark. The Miami Marlins were flat at $990 million and the only club valued below $1 billion; Owner Bruce Sherman took on significant debt when he bought the club in 2017, which likely depressed that figure.
The Forbes estimates also do not include ancillary income, such as the teams’ stakes in their own regional sports networks and accompanying real estate developments. That would only boost the values of clubs like the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves, whose corporate owner, Liberty Media, reported strong profits for the team’s development at the Battery, adjacent to Truist Field in suburban Atlanta.
The Braves are now worth an estimated $2.1 billion after a World Series title run that kept Truist and his accompanying development going until October.
While MLB and its franchises often dispute and never confirm Forbes’ estimates, eventual franchise sales often closely mirror projections. Only the Braves’ Liberty Media is required to report operating profits and losses.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yankees join Cowboys as most valuable global franchises