Sports Magazine

Pirates Long-term Moves

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
The Pirates have one of the richest histories in MLB but is also one of the poorest teams in the League financially. Modern day baseball is financially driven and especially the finances driven from today’s mega Tv deals.
The Pirates current deal with Root Sports (Direct Tv) is about to start its 4th year of 10 worth a little over $18 million this year while the Dodgers (once official) will be looking at approximately $1.73Million a game for the next 25 years from Fox, yeah 4050 games x $1.73 = Holy **** type of money ($6+Billion) and there are several teams that will be following suit to the mega deal in the near future.
Yes, it's true that baseball shares 34 percent of its local revenues and that the Dodgers will be forced to give $80 million-plus of that TV money to the relatively poor. That still leaves them with a bigger deal than any team – and upwards of 20 times that of Atlanta. This means that even with profit sharing, the Pirates who financially already have no business being on the same baseball field as some teams are, will be even more in the gutter and soon.
So let’s look at reality, modern day baseball is not putting asses in the stands, it’s a race to have the most watching on Tv. In the Pirates case, their current Tv market (Western PA) is never going to make much more of a splash, even if the next contract doubles in value the rest of the Country is basically spoken for. So what is the Team to do for survival?
One possibility is to expand on what the Team has already started...... Think big now
The Pirates broke ground in 2008 and opened their state of the art Latin American headquarters and baseball training complex in the Dominican Republic in the spring of 2009. The Pirates have historical ties to the Hispanic community, (ever hear of Roberto Clemente? I know he was from PR but you get the point) If you tie that with some relevant years of baseball and the Pirates might be in a position to claim portions of Latin America as their Tv / Merchandising market area.
Did I forget to mention that Baseball is catching up to Soccer in Latin America? Well it is and I can imagine that it won’t be long until either current MLB Teams get deals County by Country for Tv rights or MLB expansion Teams to start popping up South of the Border.
I know the above is farfetched and typically not my style but never under estimate the power of BIG money. Airleg1

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