TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 1 2008 E DITION Published by PSB Media Vail, Colorado, USA TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.
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3 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS 2008 Edition A PSB Media Report A PSB Media research report TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 4 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS 2008 Bill Briggs, Editor Peter Battin, Publisher Printed in the United States of America TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS 2008 Copyright ©2008 PSB Media 802 Potato Patch Drive Vail, CO 81657 URL: www.psbmedia.biz Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (970) 479-1908 (970) 477-1085 FAX Federal law prohibits the reproduction of any part of this report in any form whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.
PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2008 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I: FOOTBALL CHAPTER II: BASEBALL CHAPTER III: BASKETBALL CHAPTER IV: HOCKEY CHAPTER V: SOCCER CHAPTER VI: MOTOR SPORTS CHAPTER VII: FIGHTING SPORTS CHAPTER VIII: GOLF CHAPTER IX: NICHE SPORTS CHAPTER X: COLLEGE SPORTS CHAPTER XI: OLYMPICS CHAPTER XII: THE FUTURE OF SPORT APPENDIX A: PROFILES OF NATIONAL NETWORKS ... more. less.
CARRYING SPORTS APPENDIX B: PROFILES OF REGIONAL NETWORKS CARRYING SPORTS APPENDIX C: PROFILES OF CANADIAN NETWORKS CARRYING SPORTS TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 6 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 7 TABLE OF TABLES TABLE I:1: CURRENT NFL TELEVISION RIGHTS FEES TABLE I:2: NFL TV RIGHTS DEALS PAST AND PRESENT TABLE I:3: RATINGS FOR NFL TV PARTNERS TABLE I:4: NFL AVERAGE VIEWS VERSUS PRIMETIME TV TABLE I:5: TOP 10 NETWORK PROGRAMS, AVERAGE VIEWERS, FALL 2007 TABLE I:6: BROADCAST RATINGS, MEN 18-49 TABLE I:7: TOP-10 MOST WATCHED SHOWS, 9/6/07-12/31/07 TABLE I:8: 10 MOST-WATCHED PROGRAMS ON BASIC CABLE, 9/6/07- 12/31/07 TABLE I:9: NFL POSTSEASON VERSUS MLB AND NBA TITLE GAMES, 2007 TABLE I:10: TOP FIVE SUPER BOWLS, TOTAL VIEWERS TABLE I:11:TOP FIVE SUPER BOWLS, RATINGS TABLE I:12: NFL TEAM VALUES TABLE II:1: MLB TELEVISION CONTRACTS, 1984-2007 TABLE II:2: WORLD SERIES RATINGS, 1968-2007 TABLE II:3: ALL-STAR GAME RATINGS, 1968-2007 TABLE II:4: POST-SEASON REPEATERS, 1996-2007 TABLE II:5: LARGEST ATTENDANCE DAYS IN MLB HISTORY TABLE II:6: LOCAL TELEVISION AGREEMENTS, MLB TEAMS, 2008 TABLE II:7: ANNUAL REVENUE, 2006 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 8 TABLE II:8: MLB FRANCHISE VALUES TABLE III:1: NBA TV DEALS, NETWORK AND CABLE, 1990-2016 TABLE III:2: ABC RATINGS FOR NBA GAMES TABLE III:3: TV RATINGS FOR NBA ALL-STAR GAME TABLE III:4: NBA FINALS, AVERAGE NIELSEN RATINGS, 1976-2007 TABLE III:5: NBA VALUES, 2007 TABLE III:6: LOCAL TV AGREEMENTS FOR NBA CLUBS TABLE IV:1: NHL TV RIGHTS DEALS, 1983-2011 TABLE IV:2: NHL TEAM VALUES, 2006-07 TABLE IV:3: LOCAL TELEVISION AGREEMENTS FOR NHL CLUBS, 2007- 08 TABLE V:1: MLS NATIONAL TELEVISION DEALS, 2008 TABLE V:2 MLS TEAM APPEARANCES BY NETWORK OR CHANNEL, 2008 TABLE V:3: MLS TEAM ATTENDANCE VS.<br><br> SEATING CAPACITY, 2007 TABLE VI:1: NASCAR TEAM VALUES, 2007 TABLE VI:2: TV AD COSTS FOR THE DAYTONA 500, 2001-2008 TABLE VII:1: TOP PPV EVENTS ALL-TIME TABLE VII:2: PAY-PER-VIEW NUMBERS FOR UFC 9S SUPERCARDS TABLE VIII:1: PGA TOUR COVERAGE BY NETWORK, 2006-2008 TABLE VIII:2: 2008 PGA TOUR PLAYOFF SERIES TABLE VIII:3: TIGER 9S IMPACT ON NETWORK PGA RATINGS TABLE VIII:4: PGA TV REVENUE AND PURSE MONEY, 1998-2008 TABLE VIII:5: ANNUAL PGA PRIZE MONEY, 1950-2008 TABLE IX:1: TV RATINGS FOR THE TRIPLE CROWN, 2005-2007 TABLE X:1: TV RATINGS FOR BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, 2002-2008 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 9 TABLE X:2: BOWL GAME COVERAGE AND RATINGS 2007-08 TABLE X:3: BSC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE, 2008- 2010 TABLE X:4: TOP 10 COLLEGES, RANKED BY VALUES AND PROFITS TABLE X:4: RATINGS FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT GAMES ON CBS, 2006-08 TABLE XI:1: OLYMPIC TV RIGHTS FEES, 1976-2012 TABLE XI:2: COST PER HOUR OF OLYMPIC COVERAGE, 1976-2008 INTRODUCTION The numbers 3 and the power of those numbers 3 is staggering.<br><br> Among the seven largest professional sports leagues in the United States plus college sports and the Olympic Games, broadcast rights deals will generate $7.75 billion in 2008. That includes more than $3 billion for NFL games, $925 million for the NBA and $560 million for NASCAR. The dollar figures are hard to fathom but, all together, that works out to $27 for every single TV set in America or more than the gross domestic products of 83 different nations.<br><br> And yet, as more live sport action migrates from the tube to the Internet or to mobile platforms, a new era is looming broadcast rights: one in which most games are viewed on handheld devices and laptops instead of on traditional televisions. Most sports leagues are shifting with the times and aiming to capture or cater to those new virtual viewers. The NBA 9s latest broadcast contracts with ESPN/ABC and TNT, for example, include the rights to technologies that have yet to be invented.<br><br> In almost every major sport, the times are sunny thanks to the surge of TV rights money. The NFL enjoys a gaping separation between its television income and those of all other American sports entities. That won 9t change anytime soon as the NFL continues to dominate Nielsen ratings whenever its games are aired.<br><br> Major League Baseball posted TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 10 record revenues in 2007 as a result of its focus on new media.<br><br> The NBA managed to land a record TV deal with ABC/ESPN and TNT despite recent lackluster ratings. The NHL is still fighting for recognition, but it grabbed an important one-year contract extension with NBC. Financed by its national TV deals, Major League Soccer is expanding.<br><br> NASCAR regained its financial footing in 2007 and 2008 and enjoyed a comeback in TV audience numbers, while a unification of two open-wheel racing leagues may pave the way for a rise in TV rights for that sport. Mixed martial arts continued its assault on TV audiences, grabbing primetime slots on CBS, while boxing posted a record payday in 2007 on pay- per-view. The 2008 edition of cTelevision Sports Rights d is organized in the fashion of earlier editions.<br><br> The report includes 11 chapters on individual sports: cFootball, d cBaseball, d cBasketball, d cHockey, d cSoccer, d cMotor Sports, d cGolf, d cNiche Sports, d cCollege Sports, d cOlympics d and the newly titled cFighting Sports d 3 which reflects the rise of mixed martial arts in a sport once dominated by boxing. The final chapter, cThe Future of Sport d is back, examining the influence of new media on all these games. There are also profiles of 45 networks, including 18 that distribute sports on a national basis, 21 regional sports networks, and profiles of six Canadian networks that carry sports.<br><br> CHAPTER ONE: FOOTBALL Gushing with TV revenue and reveling in record Super Bowl ratings, the National Football League continues its sparkling run atop the global sports economy. But as franchise values soared again in 2007 amid a historic cluster of TV rights deals, observers also began to see some small cracks in the league 9s financial foundation. The specters of labor unrest, ownership infighting and a dangerous ditching of the current salary cup all may loom, in part, precisely because so much money is surging into the NFL.<br><br> Despite a solid revenue sharing system that equally divides $3.7 billion i a year in TV income, a handful of elite clubs, like the Dallas Cowboys, are hauling in loads of extra cash while some small-market owners have begun whining about a competitive imbalance. That widening affluence gap is fueled by a single concrete fact: home teams in the NFL can retain all of the suite and stadium TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 11 sponsorship money that they generate. New digs in New York and Dallas soon will help those clubs afford more star players. ii Meanwhile, growth of the league 9s very own television entity, the NFL Network, has been slowed by a lingering dispute with cable companies Comcast and Time Warner.<br><br> In some circles, there is talk that the NFL Network 3 which enjoyed a massive ratings boost in 2007 3 has been something of a drag on overall league revenue. iii And despite its abundant riches, NFL executives are now watching a rival sport gaining fast in the revenue game. Major League Baseball finished its 2007 season with just over $6 billion in revenue 3 a shade less than the NFL 9s reported revenue total in 2006.<br><br> iv Of course, these figures pale when compared to the NFL 9s litany of other broadcast- related successes. They offer only a cautionary pause, a reminder that even the beast of TV sports has a few challenges to meet in coming year. In reality, any other professional league would kill for the NFL 9s financial engine, its television audience or its attendance.<br><br> Pro football remains the top draw and the top earner. cNothing in sports seduces Americans the way the National Football League does, d the Washington Post wrote in September 2007. cIf it seems as if the NFL is bigger, better, smarter and more relevant, that 9s only because it is. d In any business, attraction is the word.<br><br> Pulling in consumers is the key. In modern sports, nobody does that more effectively than the NFL. For the fifth consecutive year, the league set a regular-season record for attendance, drawing 17,341,012 total fans or 67,738 people per game.<br><br> The bump over the 2006 attendance mark was small: just 133 fans. v But 14 of the 32 clubs hit or surpassed full capacity for the 2007 regular season. vi On broadcast TV, NFL games enjoyed a slight ratings rise as well.<br><br> In 2007, the league 9s three over-the-air TV partners 3 CBS, Fox and NBC 3 averaged 16.6 million viewers. The trio averaged 16.3 million NFL viewers in 2006. Moreover, NFL games on those three carriers lured an average primetime audience that was 91 percent larger than viewer numbers earned each evening by the four largest networks.<br><br> (On ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, an average of 8.7 million people tuned in to primetime programs). vii And then there 9s the godfather of all television, the Super Bowl. The 2008 NFL title game pitting then-undefeated New England against the New York Giants grabbed the second-largest TV audience of all time, 97.45 million people.<br><br> viii Only the 1983 finale of M*A*S*H scored more viewers 3 105.97 people. The previous ratings record for the Super Bowl came in January 1996 when 94.08 viewers watched Dallas and Pittsburgh. The white-hot power of television has elevated the NFL into an American obsession, which further feeds the league 9s coffers when it comes to merchandising and sponsorships.<br><br> According to a 2007 ESPN poll, the NFL is No. 1 among fantasy sports enthusiasts (72 percent participation among respondents versus 24 percent for Major League Baseball, 11 percent for the National Basketball Association and 6 percent for NASCAR). In the world of gaming, Madden NFL 07 (PS2) was a top TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 12 seller, the NPD Group reported in 2007. And during the 2007 calendar year, the NFL inked sponsorship deals with five new companies, Home Depot, Samsung, Bank of America, Bridgestone and Expedia.<br><br> ix cFrom the unpredictable road to the Super Bowl to the 8Wait until next year 9 April draft, ask any orange-and-blue face-painted, cheeseheaded, spiked shoulder-padded denizen of the Black Hole, or anywhere else across the county, and they 9ll sing out with all their body and soul. Football is king, d the Denver Post wrote in September 2007. With its team-first ethic, its clock-driven assault on enemy turf, and its time-tested blend of gritty brutality and athletic beauty, the NFL is a perfectly packaged slice of Americana that originally flourished during the TV Age and, so far, has maintained its momentum into the Internet age.<br><br> The league has held its foothold near the top of national consciousness by continually widening its demographics. More women watched Super Bowl in 2007 (42.2 million) than total viewers watched the 2007 Academy Awards (40.2 million). x Among children 7-11 years old, 35 percent own a piece of clothing related to the NFL.<br><br> The sport with the next highest ranking is Major League Baseball at 23 percent. xi With its stake firmly and deeply planted in American soil, the NFL continues to expand its influence beyond U.S. borders.<br><br> The league has committed to play at least one game in the United Kingdom in each of the next three years, and the Buffalo Bills have won approval to play one regular-season home game in Toronto, Canada in each of the next five seasons. Both pacts were announced in early 2008. xii Is pro football simply a sure-fire business proposition?<br><br> Not necessarily. While attendance was up for the Arena Football League in 2007 xiii , its Nielsen ratings were down despite a fresh TV real with ESPN and ABC. xiv And across the Atlantic, NFL Europa, the European development league for American football, folded in 2007 amid years of stiff financial losses.<br><br> These lowlights prove that the NFL 3 revved by its television muscle 3 has further entrenched itself into a generation and mastered this media moment. TV Deals Set the Tone, Pump the Revenue The wealth of the NFL is tightly laced into its television rights deals. And most of those agreements will continue pumping billions up dollars into the league until 2011, accelerating each year.<br><br> xv One pact, with ESPN, stretches into 2013. xvi The 2006 pro football season marked the beginning of six-year contract extensions with old partners CBS and Fox which annually pay the league $711.6 million and $621.16 to broadcast regular-season and post-season action. CBS primarily carries games from the American Football Conference and Fox mainly carries games from the National Football Conference.<br><br> NBC also returned to the NFL broadcast family in 2006, signing on for a six-year run (at $600 million per season) to air Sunday Night Football . Over the life of those three deals, the NFL will receive $11.6 billion. xvii The TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 13 over-the-air networks paid top dollar for a built-in audience: nearly three out of four Americans watch an NFL game on television each season. But the contract signed by ESPN was an even more telling statement about the strength of the current NFL television market.<br><br> After the 2005 season, ABC (decided not to continue its long-running Monday Night Football broadcast, in effect saying the games were not worth the steep rights fees. ABC and ESPN are both owned by the Walt Disney Company. When ABC stepped back, ESPN opted to grab the Monday Night Football coverage, laying out $1.1 billion a year for eight years for the rights to those games.<br><br> That 9s more than double what ABC had been paying the NFL. xviii After the NFL secured its current crop of TV rights deals, the league collected total broadcast revenues in the fall of 2006 that outstripped the sum total of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, NASCAR, the NCAA and the last two Olympic Games combined. xix Table 1.1 offers an overview of the current NFL television deals.<br><br> Table 1.2 breaks down the NFL 9s most recent TV contracts, dating back to 1990. TABLE I:1: CURRENT NFL TELEVISION RIGHTS FEES Network or provider Total contract Term of deal Annual fee Fox $4.27 billion 2006-2011 $711.6 million CBS $3.73 billion 2006-2011 $621.6 million NBC $3.6 billion 2006-2011 $600 million ESPN $8.8 billion 2006-2013 $1.1 billion DirecTV $3.5 billion 2006-2010 $700 million Source: Television Sports Rights, 2007; Sports Business Journal, 2006 TABLE I:2: NFL TV RIGHTS DEALS PAST AND PRESENT Years Networks Total Rights Fee NFL $/year Team $/year* 1990-93 ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, TNT $3.6 billion $0.9 billion $37.5 million 1994-97 ABC, Fox, NBC, ESPN, TNT $4.3 billion $1.1 billion $36.6 million 1998-2005 ABC, ESPN, CBS, Fox $17.6 billion $2.2 billion $70 million TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 14 2006- 2011/2013 Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, DirecTV $23.9 billion $3.7 billion $115.6 million Source: Television Sports Rights, 2007; Sports Business Journal, 2006 *over the course of the contracts The chief difference between the NFL and all other pro sports leagues is the NFL treats every game as a cnational game. d Among the NBA, MLB and the National Hockey League, nightly games are almost always broadcast locally or regionally. xx NASCAR races may come closest to the NFL in striving to turn its weekend its races into cnational d broadcasts, but the demographics of stockcar still skew toward the regional: southeastern states. But where the NBA, MLB, NHL and Major League Soccer offer the vast majority of their games via local or regional TV stations, the NFL is carried only by broadcast networks, ESPN or its own cable station, the NFL Network.<br><br> In the confines of the NFL economy, revenue from national television, ticket and licensing revenue are shared equally among the 32 franchises xxi , infusing each team with hundreds of millions of dollars per season. In 2006, each NFL team 9s share of national TV revenues was $84.7 million. That 9s according to documents released by the Green Bay Packers, the league 9s only publicly held team.<br><br> That figure marked a 3 percent decrease from 2005. There are two possible explanations for this. First, that the TV rights deals between the networks and the NFL were in their initial year and the payments will accelerate as the contract matures.<br><br> Two, the NFL Network lost a great deal of money in 2006. xxii That 9s a theory proposed by Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily. c(Packers) officials could not say whether the NFL Network had previously contributed to the bottom line, though the club had not mentioned the channel in past years when discussing revenue, d Kaplan wrote in June 2007.<br><br> cBecause the network has been unable to reach deals with Time Warner and Cablevision, among other distributors, sources have wondered whether the channel, three years after its launch, remains a drain on team coffers. d Kaplan suggested that the NFL Network 9s expenses indeed outweighed its revenues in 2006, but the league 9s bottom line was salvaged by TV deals with other media rights holders including CBS, Fox, ESPN, NBC, DirecTV and Sirius satellite radio. NFL owners may prefer to keep a share of its games on the NFL Network 3 and thus lose money 3 because that deficit would help hold down the league 9s salary cap, Kaplan theorized in Sports Business Daily. Owned and operated by the National Football League, the NFL Network offers 24- hour broadcasts, featuring 2,000 hours of original programming per year, including coverage of the NFL scouting combine and late-season games.<br><br> The NFL Network is carried by Comcast and Cox cable systems as well as satellite providers DirecTV (which offers it to all 15.4 million customers) and Dish Network (which offers it to all 12.2 million customers). xxiii Nine months after the NFL inked its latest TV rights deals with NBC and ESPN, team owners agreed collectively to invest $100 million TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 15 into their network, hoping to make it a much bigger venture. In 2006, the NFL Network launched its first live game broadcasts, eight for the season. xxiv During the 2007 season, the NFL Network carried eight primetime games starting on Nov.<br><br> 22. In 2006, the network was available to 70 million American households and had 41 million subscribers. xxv As of 2007, the all-football channel had 43 million subscribers, well under its aspirations of 65 million.<br><br> xxvi Much of that shortfall is due to a protracted battle between the league and cable providers. Under the NFL 9s current agreements with cable and satellite systems, less than 40 percent of U.S. homes access the NFL Network.<br><br> This shallow audience ignited yet another war over the network late in the season when the NFL Network was scheduled to air the historic game between the 15-0 New England Patriots and the New York Giants, the eventual Super Bowl match up. For weeks, fans who didn 9t receive the NFL Network complained about not being able to watch the game and demanded a simulcast on free, over-the-air TV. The league initially refused to cave in, saying the responsibility fell with major cable companies that are at the center of that intense feud with the league.<br><br> In shorts, Comcast and Time Warner have declined to carry the NFL Network as part of their basic packages. That means their customers have to pay more to access a special sports tier to view the NFL Network. U.S.<br><br> lawmakers eventually pressured the league to show the game more widely, even threatening Commissioner Roger Goodell by letter that Congress might reconsider the NFL 9s anti-trust exemption. Goodell relented and both CBS and NBC simulcast the NFL Network telecast. xxvii The event marked the first three-network simulcast in league history.<br><br> And it was the first NFL game simulcast since the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967, carried by both CBS and NBC. xxviii To some observers, the NFL Network dispute represents a rare tactical error by the league and offers a clear view of the carrogance d of NFL leaders. When the NFL originally opted to place eight primetime games on its own channel in 2006, it charged cable operators far higher fees to carry the games 3 between 20 to 70 cents more per subscriber.<br><br> As a result, Comcast and Time Warner put the NFL Network on higher-cost sports tiers instead of basic cable as the NFL had wanted. xxix Comcast and the NFL Network went to court over the placement. The courts ruled in favor of Comcast, which ends its agreement with the NFL in mid-2009.<br><br> Comcast also sent the NFL Network a cease-and-desist letter to stop asking its subscribers to abandon Comcast. xxx On the eve of the NFL Network 9s opening primetime telecast for its 2007 schedule, Goodell was asked to respond to the suggestion by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that fans should drop their cable subscriptions and go to satellite, which offers full coverage of the league 9s channel. The commissioner didn 9t back away from Jones 9 challenge.<br><br> cWhat we 9re trying to do and Jerry is trying to do is tell fans that it 9s not going to be available on the cable operators that are holding out. The fans need to make sure that they 9re aware of that far enough in advance so if they want to find an alternative way to see that game, they can make the necessary plans, and that includes potentially changing services. d xxxi TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 16 Asked whether there was any room for compromise, Goodell stayed on the offensive, saying the cable operators were simply trying to gouge customers by keeping the NFL Network off of digital basic packages. cWe believe that they 9re just putting us on the sports tier & to charge our fans more money by wanting to create a new tier that can generate new revenues, and we don 9t think that 9s right for our fans. d xxxii According to Mediaweek, the present eight-game seasonal packages offered on the NFL Network are not going to change for the foreseeable future. xxxiii But the league 9s hard-line stance could cause the NFL to alienate the same broadcast partners with whom it should be aligning as it prepares for another round of TV rights deals.<br><br> The reason: The NFL Network is directly competing for advertisers with the NFL 9s current broadcast partners. xxxiv Even some team owners are starting to ask whether the league can sustain its long run of rights fees increases. The NFL 9s current TV pacts give the league an extra $2.8 billion annually compared with the television agreements in place just 16 years ago.<br><br> With new media, live screening and mobile monitoring still in their infancies, some owners believe the days of traditional TV dominance are nearing an end. According to one unnamed owner interviewed by ESPN.com, the league has a five- year csafe haven d in its bargaining muscle on TV contracts. After that, cthere are going to be huge changes in how the games are presented, d the owner said.<br><br> xxxv Is a Ratings Juggernaut Slowing Down? What has long given the league its two-fisted moxie at the negotiating table is its Nielsen supremacy: NFL games have historically yielded massive television ratings. But during the 2007 regular season, two of the four NFL broadcast partners 3 ESPN and NBC 3slumped in viewer numbers when compared to 2006.<br><br> xxxvi Overall, though, the ratings picture remained positive for the NFL with raw viewership having risen by 3 percent in 2007 and Nielsen ratings having edged 1 percent higher over 2006. Nielsen Media Research reported that 226 million Americans watched NFL games in 2007, an increase from 222 million in 2006 and from 195.8 million in 2005. xxxvii And those stats don 9t include the ultimate TV bonanza: the Super Bowl.<br><br> Fox, which predominantly carries National Football Conference games, posted its highest NFL ratings since 1999, even though it lost eight Dallas Cowboys games to competing networks. xxxviii CBS, banking on the New England Patriots 9 run to perfection, pushed its ratings 5 percent higher in 2007. Despite a mediocre, eight- game schedule that featured only two blockbusters (Green Bay at Dallas) and (New England at the New York Giants), the NFL Network rode those major events to a 42 percent ratings jump in 2007.<br><br> xxxix TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 17 The ratings dip at ESPN and its Monday Night Football program was directly tied to a weak slate of games.<br><br> NBC, on the other hand, enjoyed the benefit of flexible scheduling, allowing the network to cherry pick certain captivating clashes as the season progressed. Yet while NBC hit a high-water mark of 21.81 million viewers for its coverage of the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 25, Sunday Night Football limped home the rest of the season with three games that pulled in only 14 million viewers and one, the Indianapolis Colts versus the Baltimore Ravens (Dec.<br><br> 9), that earned just 12.7 million viewers. xl Table I:3 lists the 2007 viewership numbers and ratings for the four NFL rights holders plus the NFL Network, as well as a comparison with 2006 and 2005. TABLE I:3: RATINGS FOR NFL TV PARTNERS Network Average Viewership 2007 Percent Change in Viewership from 2006 Average Ratings 2007 Average Viewership 2006 Percent Change in Viewership from 2005 CBS 16.7 million + 5 percent 10.3 15.2 million +1 percent FOX 17.1 million + 1 percent 10.7 16.6 million + 5 percent NBC 16.1 million - 9 percent 10.0 17.5 million + 7 percent* ESPN 11.2 million - 11 percent 7.3 12.3 million + 41 percent** NFL Network 4.6 million + 42 percent 2.7 4.1 million -- *Compared to ABC 9s Monday Night Football in 2005 ** Compared to ESPN 9s Sunday Night Football in 2005 Sources: Nielsen Media Research, USA Today, TVbythenumbers.com, ESPN.com, NFLMedia.com Compared even to regular, primetime programming, the NFL continues to be a sure bet for the networks.<br><br> Regular-season games on CBS, Fox and NBC pulled in an average 16.6 million people which was 91 percent higher than the average primetime viewership among the big four networks (which notched an average of 8.7 million people). xli That gap is widening. Table I:4 illustrates the audiences for NFL games versus those who tune in for primetime network shows, each season dating back to 2002.<br><br> TABLE I:4: NFL AVERAGE VIEWS VERSUS PRIMETIME TV NFL on Broadcast Broadcast Primetime NFL Advantage 2002 Ave. Viewers 15.8 million 10.3 million 52% 2003 Ave. Viewers 15.5 million 9.9 million 56% 2004 Ave.<br><br> Viewers 15.4 million 9.8 million 57% 2005 Ave. Viewers 15.6 million 9.7 million 61% TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 18 2006 Ave. Viewers 16.3 million 9.8 million 66% 2007 Ave. Viewers 16.6 million 8.7 million 91% Source: NFL & Nielsen Media Research.<br><br> NFL regular season on Broadcast Television (CBS, FOX & NBC&ABC prior to 2006). Broadcast primetime on BIG 4 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX) all programs, NFL regular season dates used. The league once again grabbed slots among the 10 highest-rated network programs when compared by average viewership.<br><br> In fact, CBS enjoyed its most-watched season since it started carrying AFC Sunday afternoon games in 1998. Fox, meanwhile, posted its most-watched season since 1995. There 9s no question, the Patriots regular-season run to a 17-0 record energized the Nielsen numbers.<br><br> For the first time since 1987, three games topped the 30-million viewer mark : Patriots- Giants (34.5 million), Patriots-Colts (33.8 million) and Steelers-Patriots (30.3 million). In fact, those three telecasts were the only three programs of the corresponding TV season to reach 30 million viewers. But on cable, too, league commanded, holding every spot in the top 10 ratings.<br><br> xlii Tables I:5, 1:6 and 1:7 show the game 9s ratings prowess compared to general broadcast-TV programming, including the NFL 9s entrenched position with the demographic, men 18-49. Table 1:7 displays the league 9s cable strength through its rights agreement with ESPN. TABLE I:5: TOP 10 NETWORK PROGRAMS, AVERAGE VIEWERS, FALL 2007 Network Program Viewers 1.<br><br> CBS Sunday National Game 22.3 million 2. FOX Sunday National Game 22.2 million 3. Dancing With The Stars 21.2 million 4.<br><br> Dancing With The Stars Results 19.2 million 5. Desperate Housewives 16.9 million 6. CSI 16.8 million 7.<br><br> FOX Sunday Single Game 16.5 million 8. CBS Sunday Single Game 16.3 million 9. NBC Sunday Night Football 16.0 million 10.<br><br> House 14.6 million Source: NFL, Nielsen Media Research TABLE I:6: BROADCAST RATINGS, MEN 18-49 PROGRAM RATING 1. FOX Sunday National Game 11.5 2. CBS Sunday National Game 11.1 3.<br><br> NBC Sunday Night Football 8.7 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 19 4.<br><br> FOX Sunday Single Game 8.5 5. CBS Sunday Single Game 8.2 6. FOX Sunday Regional Game 6.1 7.<br><br> The OT (FOX NFL Postgame) 5.9 8. NBC Sunday Night Pre-Kick 5.8 9. Family Guy 5.5 10.<br><br> CBS Sunday Regional Game 5.3 (Regional: First window of a doubleheader) (National: Second window of a doubleheader) (Single: Only window on network not airing doubleheader that week.) Source: NFL, Nielsen Media Research, 9/6/07-12/31/07 TABLE I:7: TOP-10 MOST WATCHED SHOWS, 9/6/07-12/31/07 Program (Game) Viewers 1. NFL Network Saturday Night Football (Patriots-Giants)&&34.5 million 2. CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Colts)&&&&&&..33.8 million 3.<br><br> CBS Sunday National (mostly Steelers-Patriots)&&&&&30.3 million 4. CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Cowboys)&&&.&.29.1 million 5. CSI (season premiere)&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&..25.4 million 6.<br><br> FOX Thanksgiving Day (Packers-Lions)&&&&&&&&&25.3 million 7. FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-Giants)&&&&&.25.1 million 8. CBS Thanksgiving Day (Jets-Cowboys)&&&&&&&&&25.0 million 9.<br><br> Dancing with the Stars Results Show (finale)&&&&&&&&.24.9 million 10. Dancing with the Stars (performance finale)&&&&&&&&.24.5 million Source: NFL, Nielsen Media Research TABLE I:8: 10 MOST-WATCHED PROGRAMS ON BASIC CABLE, 9/6/07- 12/31/07 Program, Date Viewers 1. ESPN Monday Night Football (Patriots-Ravens), 12/3 17.5 million 2.<br><br> ESPN Monday Night Football (Packers-Broncos), 10/29 14.0 million 3. ESPN Monday Night Football (Dolphins-Steelers), 11/26 13.1 million 4. ESPN Monday Night Football (Cowboys-Bills), 10/8 13.0 million 5.<br><br> ESPN Monday Night Football (Bears-Vikings), 12/17 12.8 million 6. ESPN Monday Night Football (Colts-Jaguars), 10/22 12.5 million 7. ESPN Monday Night Football (Patriots-Bengals), 10/1 11.8 million 8.<br><br> ESPN Monday Night Football (Redskins-Eagles), 9/17 11.6 million 9. ESPN Monday Night Football (Bengals-Ravens), 9/10 11.1 million 10. ESPN Monday Night Football (Titans-Saints), 9/24 10.8 million Source: NFL, Nielsen Media Research Super Bowl Hits New Highs 3 In Ratings and Revenue The unofficial national holiday, the NFL title game, was watched by nearly a third of Americans over the course of the game, and half the population tuned in for at TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 20 least part of the action. xliii In terms of raw viewer numbers, Super Bowl LXII between New England and the New York Giants set a record for the event, although 19 previous Super Bowls grabbed higher Nielsen ratings.<br><br> xliv Advertising revenue from the big game also charted top numbers for Fox, the network that broadcast the 2008 Super Bowl. According to News Corp., the parent company Fox, the company reaped $250 million in ad revenue on the day of the Super Bowl, the biggest day in Fox history. xlv Then again, the Super Bowl merely capped another stunning post-season ratings run for the NFL.<br><br> Three playoff games 3 Giants-Packers, Chargers-Patriots and Giants-Cowboys 3 were the three highest-rated TV shows between Sept. 6, 2007 and Jan. 20, 2008.<br><br> The AFC and NFL Championship games averaged 49.8 million viewers, combining for the highest viewer numbers on that weekend since 1995 and marking a 10 percent increase over the same games in 2006. The Giants-and- Packers 9 battle for the NFC Championship on Fox drew 53.9 million viewers 3 the most watched non-Super Bowl program on TV since the final episode of News Corp in 1998. The Seinfeld finale attracted 76.3 million people.<br><br> xlvi Table I:9 shows that NFL 9s post-season ratings, even without the Super Bowl added to the equations, beats the TV viewer numbers for the championship games in two other pro sports. TABLE I:9: NFL POSTSEASON VERSUS MLB AND NBA TITLE GAMES, 2007 EVENT RATING AVE. VIEWERS 2007 NFL Playoffs* 19.5 33.0 million 2007 World Series 10.6 17.1 million 2007 NBA Finals 6.2 9.3 million *Does not include Super Bowl XLII Source: NFL.com, January 2008 For the NFL, the Super Bowl offered a near-perfect scenario for ratings success: an undefeated team and burgeoning dynasty met a Cinderella team from one of the nation 9s media capitals.<br><br> The results: A record number of total viewers clicked in to watch part of the game. xlvii Table I:10 lists the top five Super Bowls in terms of total viewers and Table I:11 breaks down the top five Super Bowls in terms of Nielsen ratings. As the U.S.<br><br> population has grown, the game has attracted higher raw numbers. But as the number of TV choices has also expanded, the Super Bowl has struggled to match the historic ratings of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Note: Super Bowl LXII between New England and New York earned a rating of 43.2, the highest since 2000 when St.<br><br> Louis and Tennessee met in the Super Bowl. TABLE I:10: TOP FIVE SUPER BOWLS, TOTAL VIEWERS Super Bowl Year Network Tot. Viewers Teams XLII 2008 Fox 148.3 million NY/New Eng TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 21 XXXVIII 2003 CBS 144.4 million New Eng/Car XL 2006 ABC 141.4 million Pitt/Sea XLI 2007 CBS 139.8 million Ind/Chi XXXVII 2002 ABC 138.9 million Tam/Oak Source: NFL.com TABLE I:11:TOP FIVE SUPER BOWLS, RATINGS Super Bowl Year Network Rating Teams XVI 1982 CBS 49.1 SF/Cin XVII 1983 NBC 48.6 Wash/Miami XX 1986 NBC 48.3 Chi/New Eng XII 1978 CBS 47.2 Dallas/Den XIII 1979 NBC 47.1 Pitt/Dallas Source: NFL.com Team Values Form New Billionaires Club The NFL in 2007 boasted five franchises valued at more than $1 billion each, up from just one team (Washington) that earned that rare air in 2006, according to Forbes magazine 9s annual appraisal of NFL club finances. But from the new No.<br><br> 1, Dallas, all the way down to No. 32, the Minnesota Vikings, the league 9s members all share in the vast vat of TV revenues, a pipeline that makes the NFL the richest sports league on the planet. About two-thirds of the NFL 9s money comes from its TV deals.<br><br> The differences between the NFL 9s moneyed and less-moneyed clubs are often due to stadium deals and the accompanying sponsorship and suite revenue that the facilities generate: those funds can be pocketed by individual franchises. xlviii At the start of the 2007 season, Forbes crunched the numbers on team debt, revenues and operating income to determine overall value of each franchise. Dallas and the two teams that made the biggest jumps from the 2006 appraisal 3 the New York Jets and Giants, which each climbed 12 spots 3 all will play in new stadiums in upcoming seasons.<br><br> But the Cowboys hold the top spot largely because owner Jerry Jones got $325 million in taxpayer subsidies to help build his new stadium. The Giants and Jets got no taxpayer help in the construction of their shared, open-roof facility in New Jersey. At the same time, the Cowboys 9 new stadium in Arlington, Texas boasts more than 200 suites which lease for more than $350,000 per year.<br><br> Jones is expected to pull in another $50 million in stadium sponsorships. Under the NFL economy, that money will stay with the Cowboys, unlike the cash that 9s funneled equally to each team from the league 9s TV contracts. So Dallas will be able to spend more on signing bonuses for star players 3 the official way that team 9s can skirt the NFL salary cap (which limits players to 57 percent of league revenue.) Team owners in Jacksonville, Atlanta and Buffalo have publicly complained that this revenue structure makes it more difficult for their clubs to stay competitive with the richer teams.<br><br> xlix Table I:12 reproduces the 2007 Forbes list. TABLE I:12: NFL TEAM VALUES TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 22 Team Current Value ($mil) 1-Yr Value Change (%) Debt/Value (%) Revenue ($mil) Operating Income ($mil) 1 Dallas Cowboys 1,500 28 42 242 2 Washington Redskins 1,467 3 16 312 3 New England Patriots 1,199 2 25 255 4 Houston Texans 1,056 1 28 225 5 Philadelphia Eagles 1,052 3 17 224 6 Denver Broncos 994 2 20 212 7 Chicago Bears 984 4 19 209 8 New York Giants 974 9 67 195 9 Cleveland Browns 969 0 10 206 10 New York Jets 967 10 67 193 11 Baltimore Ravens 965 2 28 205 12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 963 1 15 205 13 Kansas City Chiefs 960 7 14 196 14 Carolina Panthers 956 2 13 203 15 Miami Dolphins 942 3 37 215 16 Pittsburgh Steelers 929 6 8 198 17 Green Bay Packers 927 2 4 197 18 Tennessee Titans 922 4 14 196 19 Seattle Seahawks 921 4 13 196 20 Cincinnati Bengals 912 11 11 194 21 Indianapolis Colts 911 9 11 184 22 St Louis Rams 908 8 4 193 23 Arizona Cardinals 888 13 17 189 24 Detroit Lions 870 4 40 189 25 New Orleans Saints 854 16 15 194 26 San Diego Chargers 826 13 12 192 27 Buffalo Bills 821 9 9 189 28 Oakland Raiders 812 10 7 189 29 Jacksonville Jaguars 811 9 14 189 30 San Francisco 49ers 799 9 13 186 31 Atlanta Falcons 796 9 34 185 32 Minnesota Vikings 782 9 40 182 Source: Forbes magazine NFL Labor: Storm clouds gathering? TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 23 The league 9s collective bargaining agreement, in place since 2006 and scheduled to expire in 2010, also contains a November 2008 opt-out clause for either side. And in early 2008, the NFL Players Association said publicly that it expects the owners will indeed pull out of the deal. Union leader Gene Upshaw added that team owners believe cthe players have too good a deal. d l Commissioner Roger Goodell didn 9t shy away from that sentiment in February 2008, saying, cthe economics aren 9t working. d li Some owners, especially those without sweetheart stadium deals, are concerned about operational costs.<br><br> NFL players get 60 percent of NFL revenue. lii Given that setup, the owners may vote to void the CBA in an attempt to restructure the way they and the union conduct business under the salary cap. But scrapping the labor deal would eliminate the salary cap after the 2009 season and, according to Upshaw, cthere isn 9t a player in the league who doesn 9t understand that if we don 9t have a cap, we will never have one again. d liii Under the cap 3 in place since 1994 3 the NFL has flourished financially and the owners and players have worked in peace.<br><br> If the owners throw out the CBA in November, the players may choose to decertify their union so that they can sue the NFL on antitrust grounds, as the players did in 1989 following a three-week strike in 1987. As long as the union remains in place, the NFL is immunized against antitrust statutes. liv Goodell has expressed confidence that labor peace will continue to reign but he also acknowledged some teams are struggling financially under the present system, and changes must be made.<br><br> lv cIt 9s clear that our ownership feels that there are aspects of the labor agreement that are putting an undue burden on & most clubs, d Goodell said. cThey (the players) need to have recognition of some of the expenses that go with operating a club, most specifically around stadiums, which generate revenue (that) the players benefit from more than anyone & We just want to sit down; we want to address the issues as we always have. d lvi The Global Push The NFL hasn 9t quite maxed out the market on home soil, although it is getting close. In 2007, attendance hit 90 percent of total stadium capacity.<br><br> By drawing 17.3 million fans, it marked the fifth straight season of record attendance. lvii Still, the league is looking harder than ever for fans outside the American borders. One setback in that globalization quest came in June 2007 when the six-team NFL Europa folded after 15 seasons amid severe financial losses.<br><br> Originally formed It had served as a player development league for the NFL. In its final version, NFL Europa had five German-based teams and the Amsterdam Admirals. According to some reports, the league was losing $30 million to $54 million per season.<br><br> lviii TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 24 The NFL remains focused on the European market, especially on London.<br><br> The league will return there in October 2008 for another game, a regular-season contest between New Orleans and San Diego. lix Two ownership committees also recommended that the league play one game in the United Kingdom during each of the next three seasons. Goodell endorsed the idea.<br><br> As a result, there will be one regular-season game in England in 2009 and 2010. lx The NFL had planned to play a 2007 pre-season game in China. That was scrapped.<br><br> But the league is expected to stage a game in China sometime after the Beijing Olympics. lxi Mexico also may get another game in 2009. A 2005 game in Mexico between San Francisco and Arizona was a popular success.<br><br> lxii Although it sits just over the U.S. border, Toronto is another target for NFL globalization. NFL owners approved a suggestion by the Buffalo Bills that the team play one regular-season home game in Toronto in each of the next five seasons.<br><br> lxiii Arena Football League Fills Seats but Slumps On TV The AFL, aired on ABC and ESPN for the first time in 2007, lagged in the ratings compared to 2006. (ESPN owns 10 percent of the Arena League.) The season opener on ABC grabbed 1.0 percent of all U.S. households, while 16 regular-season games on ESPN2 pulled in just 0.2 percent of the 94 million homes with access to ESPN.<br><br> That 9s far lower than the 0.8 percent that the league averaged on NBC during 2006, the final year of its agreement with that network. lxiv According to one ESPN programming executive, the ratings care about what we expected them to be for this first season, d but ESPN still sees vast growth potential. lxv The AFL did boast record regular-season attendance figures in 2007, however.<br><br> The league grabbed 1.89 million fans compared to 1.82 million in 2004. Average attendance for the seasons 152 games was 12,412, a slight increase from the 2006 average of 12,326. lxvi i Television Sports Rights, 2007; Sports Business Journal 2006 ii ESPN.com, Jan.<br><br> 31, 2008 iii Sportmediabiz.blogspot.com, June 25, 2007 iv CNNMoney.com, Oct. 25, 2007 v Associated Press, Jan. 3, 2008 vi sports.espn.go.com/nfl/attendance vii NLFMedia.com, January 2008 viii Nielsen Media Research, Feb.<br><br> 3, 2008 ix NFLMedia.com, January 2008 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 25 x NFL and Nielsen Media Research, March 2007 xi ESPN Sports Poll, January-June 2007 xii NFL.com, Feb.<br><br> 1, 2008 xiii Arenafan.com, June 26, 2007 xiv Newsday, July 27, 2007 xv Sportmediabiz.blogspot.com, June 25, 2007 xvi Sports Business Journal, 2006 xvii Sports Business Journal, 2006 xviii Forbes.com, Sept. 13, 2007 xix Sportsbiznewz.blogspot.com, May, 21, 2007 xx Fox Business, Jan. 21, 2008 xxi Forbes.com, Sept.<br><br> 13, 2007 xxii Sports Business Journal, June 25, 2007 xxiii Wikipedia xxiv Sportsbiznews.blogspot.com, May, 21, 2007 xxv NFL.com/nflnetwork xxvi ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2008 xxvii Associated Press, Dec. 27, 2007 xxviii Associated Press, Dec.<br><br> 27, 2007 xxix ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2008 xxx Wikipedia xxxi NFL.com, Nov. 20, 2007 xxxii NFL.com, Nov.<br><br> 20, 2007 xxxiii Sportsbiznews.blogspot.com, May 21, 2007 xxxiv ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2008 xxxv ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2008 xxxvi USA Today, Jan.<br><br> 6, 2008 xxxvii NFL.com, January 2008 xxxviii USA Today, Jan. 6, 2008 xxxix USA Today, Jan. 6, 2008 xl Nielsen Media Research; TVbythenumbers.com, 2007-2008 xli NFL.com, January 2008 xlii NFL.com, January 2008 xliii Newsday, Feb.<br><br> 5, 2008 xliv NFL.com, January 2008; Newsday, Feb. 5, 2008 xlv LA Times, Feb. 5, 2008 xlvi NFL.com, January, 2008 xlvii Newsday, Feb.<br><br> 5, 2008 xlviii Forbes magazine, Sept. 13, 2007 xlix Forbes magazine, Sept. 13, 2007 l USA Today, Feb.<br><br> 1, 2008 li NFL.com, Feb. 5, 2008 lii USA Today, Feb. 1, 2008 liii USA Today, Feb.<br><br> 1, 2008 liv USA Today, Feb. 1, 2008 lv NFL.com, Feb, 5, 2008 lvi NFL.com, Feb, 5, 2008 lvii ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2008 lviii Agence France-Presse, June 29, 2007 lix Sporting News, Feb.<br><br> 1, 2008 lx NFL.com, Feb. 1, 2008 lxi Agence France-Presse, June 29, 2007 lxii Sporting News, Feb. 1, 2008 lxiii NFL.com, Feb.<br><br> 1, 2008 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 26 lxiv Newsday, July 27, 2007 lxv Newsday, July 27, 2007 lxvi ArenaFan.com, June 26, 2007 CHAPTER TWO: BASEBALL Despite its lagging steroid scandal and the toxic public aftermath of both the Mitchell Report and the Roger Clemons perjury probe, Major League Baseball continued its potent rise from the distant ashes of the 1994 work stoppage.<br><br> MLB hauled in a record $6 billion in revenues in 2007, bringing it on pace in that category with the long-dominant National Football League. lxvi MLB stadiums also set new attendance records in 2007 and the league 9s TV ratings even showed some fresh life during the post season. The MLB economy looked so bright, in fact, that team owners voted unanimously at their quarterly meetings in 2008 to extend the contract of Commissioner Bud Selig through the 2012 season.<br><br> This was his third extension. Selig has held the post since 1992 when he became interim commissioner. He was elected as the league 9s ninth- ever commissioner in 1998, and he is now the second longest-serving commissioner following only Kenesaw Mountain Landis who held the post from 1921 to 1944.<br><br> lxvi cMy optimism about the future of Major League Baseball has never been greater, d Selig said. cThrough the hard work of many, our great game has made many meaningful strides. We have achieved unprecedented labor peace, competitive balance, record attendance, business performance and exciting international growth. d lxvi Although baseball still had a significant gap between its richest and poorest clubs 3 a chasm that helped create perennial contenders in Boston and New York (Yankees) and traditional also-rans in Kansas City and Pittsburgh 3 MLB could point to several bullish trends in 2007.<br><br> A commitment to new media during Selig 9s tenure has been part of the resurgent revenue stream. lxvi Labor peace also has provided a solid foundation for growth. When the league 9s current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011, baseball will have gone 16 years without a work stoppage, the longest swath of player-union accord since the inception of the CBA.<br><br> lxvi MLB should receive another financial bump in 2009 when it rolls out its 24-hour baseball channel, the MLB Network. The league will own two-thirds of the channel which is slated to reach 47 million homes on its first day 3 the widest launch of any TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 27 cable channel in history. Some observers say the MLB Network will enjoy a stronger debut than did the NFL Network, which has not yet met its initial audience goals. lxvi One Year In: New TV Deals a Mixed Bag The 2007 season marked the start of the Fox network 9s third rights deal with Major League Baseball.<br><br> Turner Broadcasting System, meanwhile, began its first season as a national rights holder with MLB. Where ratings are concerned, the cable channel had a better comparative start. The total value of the two deals, hatched at mid-season in 2006, was $3 billion.<br><br> While those latest agreements give MLB far less annual revenue than the NFL 9s broadcast contracts, they nonetheless equal a 19 jump in value over past TV pacts in baseball, according to USA Today. Also in 2007, ESPN marked the second year of its eight-year rights deal with the league. When the three are combined, MLB rakes in almost $670 million per year from its broadcast agreements.<br><br> Table II:1 recounts Major League Baseball 9s TV deals and rising rights fees since the mid-1980s. TABLE II:1: MLB TELEVISION CONTRACTS, 1984-2007 YEARS NETWORKS RIGHTS FEES DETAILS 1984-89 ABC, NBC $1.1 billion Payments to MLB were $184 million/year 1990-93 CBS $1.1 billion Based on shorter term of contract, CBS paid MLB $275 million/year 1994-95 ESPN $400 million ESPN becomes first cable network to be part of MLB TV deal, paying the league $200 million a year for rights 1994-95 ABC, NBC No rights fees Revenue sharing under MLB 9s cThe Baseball Network d TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 28 1994-99 ESPN $225 million ESPN 9s deal, worth $42.5 million a year to MLB, was amended when the 1996-2000 rights deal was negotiated 1996-2000 Fox, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports Net/FX $1.677 billion With NBC retaining a segment of the rights deal and ESPN staying in, MLB signed a pact with Fox, Fox Sports Net and FX for higher than expected TV dollars; MLB earns $335.4 million a year from these deals 2000-2005 ESPN $851 million On the eve of a court date, MLB and ESPN negotiated a six- year deal that greatly increased MLB 9s exposure on ESPN networks; the cable network pays MLB $141.8 million a year 2001-2006 Fox $2.5 billion MLB earns $416.6 million a year from its only network contract 2006-2013 ESPN $2.37 billion MLB earns $296.2 million a year from ESPN 3 more than double what the network paid for its previous contract with MLB TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 29 2007-2013 Fox, TBS $3 billion Together, the deal pays MLB $428.6 million a year SOURCES: Sports Business Journal, 2005/06; Television Sports Rights, 2007 Through its deal, Fox gets exclusive rights to broadcast the All-Star Game and World Series.<br><br> Fox also owns the right to the American League Championship Series during odd-numbered years and the National League Championship Series in even- numbered years. TBS airs the American and National League Championships in the corresponding years. lxvi TBS also provides exclusive coverage of the Division Series in each league.<br><br> lxvi Fox gained a bit of ground in its 2007 World Series ratings compared to 2006, even though the series between Boston and Colorado only reached four games; five, six or seven-game series tend to draw increasing numbers of viewers in later games. Still, the margin of success was small: the 2007 World Series drew the second-smallest audience ever, nudging just past the 2006 numbers. For its All-Star Game coverage, Fox hit the second-lowest Nielsen numbers ever for that event, a rating of 8.4.<br><br> That was a tumble from the 9.3 rating that Fox drew for the 2006 All-Star Game. lxvi Overall, Fox parent News Corp. reported a fiscal, second-quarter profit of $832 million for the three months ending Dec.<br><br> 31, 2007. That represented a 1 percent increase from the $822 million it earned in the same period in 2006. Revenue also rose 9.5 percent to $8.6 billion through solid performances at its Fox broadcast and cable networks.<br><br> But within those numbers there were mixed signals on Major League Baseball. The operating income for News Corp. 9s television division hit $245 million 3 more than double the $112 million it earned during the same period in 2006. According to analysts, Fox was able to lower its programming costs by reducing the number of Major League Baseball postseason games it aired.<br><br> At the same time, though, operating income at the Fox-owned TV stations fell by 16 percent, largely due to lower revenue from political ads and the fact that, in 2007, TBS owned the rights to the MLB divisional series. lxvi Regionally, cable rights fees and the Fox Sports Net family have also been a boon to baseball. Fox 9s regional cable sports networks currently own the rights to 19 MLB teams, paying fees of $257 million.<br><br> lxvi While the national ratings on Fox were marginal, TBS scored decent numbers for its post-season ride in 2007. The Turner network 9s first year of MLB Division Series coverage scored a 26 percent increase in total viewers compared to the 2006 games on other baseball carriers. In fact, that baseball audience helped TBS post its best ratings week ever.<br><br> lxvi Tables II:2 and II:3 display historic ratings for the World Series and All-Star Game, spanning 40 years. Both events have been on a steady ratings decline since the early 1990s, before the league 9s last work stoppage. TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media.<br><br> All rights reserved. 30 TABLE II:2: WORLD SERIES RATINGS, 1968-2007 Year / Series Television Network Rating Share 1968 NBC 22.8 57 1969 NBC 22.4 58 1970 NBC 19.4 53 1971 NBC 24.2 59 1972 NBC 27.5 58 1973 NBC 30.7 57 1974 NBC 25.6 47 1975 NBC 29.0 53 1976 NBC 27.7 48 1977 ABC 29.9 52 1978 NBC 32.7 56 1979 ABC 28.0 51 1980 NBC 32.8 56 1981 ABC 30.0 49 1982 NBC 28.0 49 1983 ABC 23.3 41 1984 NBC 22.9 40 1985 ABC 25.3 39 1986 NBC 28.6 46 1987 ABC 24.0 41 1988 NBC 23.9 39 1989 ABC 16.4 30 1990 CBS 20.8 36 1991 CBS 24.0 39 1992 CBS 20.2 34 1993 CBS 17.3 30 1994 n/a n/a n/a 1995 ABC / NBC 19.5 33 1996 FOX 17.4 29 1997 NBC 16.8 29 1998 FOX 14.1 24 1999 NBC 16.0 26 2000 FOX 12.4 21 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved.<br><br> 31 2001 FOX 15.7 25 2002 FOX 11.9 20 2003 FOX 13.9 25 2004 FOX 15.8 25 2005 FOX 11.1 19 2006 FOX 10.1 17 2007 FOX 10.6 18 Source: Baseball Almanac 2008 TABLE II:3: ALL-STAR GAME RATINGS, 1968-2007 Yea r Network Rating Share Households 1967 NBC 25.6 50 14,050,000 1968 NBC 25.8 49 14,450,000 1969 NBC 15.1 42 8,610,000 1970 NBC 28.5 54 16,670,000 1971 NBC 27.0 50 16,230,000 1972 NBC 22.9 43 14,220,000 1973 NBC 23.8 45 15,420,000 1974 NBC 23.4 44 15,490,000 1975 NBC 21.5 41 14,730,000 1976 ABC 27.1 53 18,680,000 1977 NBC 24.5 45 17,440,000 1978 ABC 26.1 47 19,030,000 1979 NBC 24.4 45 18,180,000 1980 ABC 26.8 46 20,450,000 1981 NBC 20.1 36 15,640,000 1982 ABC 25.0 44 20,380,000 1983 NBC 21.5 39 17,910,000 1984 ABC 20.1 35 16,840,000 1985 NBC 20.5 36 17,400,000 1986 ABC 20.3 35 17,440,000 1987 NBC 18.2 37 15,910,000 1988 ABC 20.4 33 18,070,000 1989 NBC 18.2 33 16,450,000 1990 CBS 16.2 33 14,940,000 TELEVISION SPORTS RIGHTS, 2008 ©2008 By PSB Media. All rights reserved. 32 1991 CBS 17.4 32 16,200,000 1992 CBS 14.9 27 13,720,000 1993 CBS 15.6 28 14,550,000 1994 NBC 15.7 28 14,790,000 1995 ABC 13.9 25 13,260,000 1996 NBC 13.2 23 12,659,000 1997 FOX 11.8 21 11,446,000 1998 NBC 13.3 25 13,034,000 1999 FOX 12.0 22 11,928,000 2000 NBC 10.1 18 10,181,000 2001 FOX 11.0 19 11,242,000 2002 FOX 9.5 17 10,023,000 2003 FOX 9.5 17 10,137,000 2004 FOX 8.8 15 9,897,000 2005 FOX 8.1 14 8,878,000 2006 FOX 9.3 16 14,420,000 2007 FOX 8.4 15 12,500,000 Source: Baseball Almanac 2008 Baseball Economy Is Singing Within MLB 9s financial house, the stirring signs of revival outweigh the one lingering drag on the game 3 namely its separation between crich d and poor teams, d a gap mainly caused by the league 9s local and regionally based money streams.<br><br> Overall, revenue is surging thanks to fresh sources of funding: new-media opportunities. Attendance also is on the upswing. And the MLB Network is about to dawn.<br><br> First, though, the bad news. The split can be boiled down this way: The New York Yankees will likely pay their top player more money in 2008 than the Tampa Bay Rays will pay all of its 24 players put together. lxvi This is an age-old dilemma in baseball.<br><br> Over in the NFL, the franchises share equally in the huge pot of national TV money. In baseball, where the vast majority of games are broadcast within municipal regions, big-market clubs often grow wealthy through local TV deals. And those teams consequently have more cash to spend on top-drawer players.<br><br> Teams in bigger cities tend to grab bigger local TV deals. MLB does divide some TV revenue among its teams but that money is generated only by