Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Quickies!

Some quick links for your Sunday reading pleasure:
  1. Tampa Tribune editorial board : "Another shortsighted vote by St. Pete City Council" hammers city council for asking appox. $4M/yr if the Rays want to terminate their contract at the Trop early.  But it's really just another shortsighted editorial for the same reasons the Times' nearly-identical editorial was the day before.
  2. Rob Neyer - Fox Sports' lead baseball writer contends that if the Rays/MLB want out of Tropicana Field, all they have to do (and all they've had to do) is write a damn check.
  3. Gary Shelton - Writing for Saint Petersblog, the former Times scribe writes it would be wise for Sternberg to return to the negotiating table.
  4. Maury Brown - Writing for Forbes, Brown shows that the Rays had the top cable ratings of all programming in Tampa Bay this year.  Their 75,000 viewers per night were better than the Nats, Braves, and Dodgers!  They had nearly twice as many viewers as the Reds, Rockies, or Brewers!!  And on an average night, the Rays had almost as many fans watching them than the A's, White Sox, and Marlins combined.
That last fact brings up a good reminder that next year - even with the explosive growth of sports television contracts possibly plateauing - the Rays stand to make enormous financial gains when their local TV deal comes up for renewal.

The tens of millions of new dollars each season the Rays can expect will dwarf the $2M/yr they're currently haggling over with St. Pete's council

And let's not forget, just a few years ago, the Times printed a story contending that St. Pete could expect the Rays to pay $19M/yr to break their contract at the Trop. 

So with the Rays looking at an offer from St. Pete of only $4M/yr to explore new stadium sites in Hillsborough County...what say you, Stu?

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  1. There something that I don't understand.

    Blue Jays TV ratings are around 1M per game on Sportsnet in August 2015 and up to 11M during game 5 Rangers vs Blue Jays.

    On the other hand, Montreal TV ratings (in french only) for the Blue Jays games were 195 000 during the series and up to 754 000 for game 5 (for a team that play in Toronto, 6H drive in a city that there have nothing in commun with Montreal).

    So what's the point saying 75 000 households ratings for the Rays is huge, important and will generate lots of money????

    If it's the case, can you imagine can you image the TV deal that will be signed in Montreal if the Expos are back! The ratings will probably double compared to what we have right now with a team in Toronto!

  2. With only 1 viable network, how are the TV monies going to increase substantially? This is pure lazy writing by reporters and bloggers. Rays shouldn't suck it up and cut the check, as there is a better deal to be made and St. Pete continues to look like a-holes.

    1. There is more than one option in Tampa Bay....

  3. Do you think Manfred, Sternberg and the other owners are not aware of the huge TV ratings in Canada?

    Also, with 80 000+ tickets sold for Montreal's 2016 pre-season games (and mayor Coderre said it's almost sold-out), Mayor Coderre said last Friday that major announcements will be made just after the World Series and strategic plan for MLB return in Montreal is working perfectly.

    Considering that Montreal will not get a team until the Rays situation is resolved and considering how hot is the Montreal market for baseball, Manfred can't wait 5 or 10 years to add Montreal in the MLB.

    While all parties were patients, playing one card at a time, taking all the time required, I firmly believe that the process to resolve the situation in ST-Pete/TB will accelerate.

    And that's why Manfred expressly said in Mexico (and during other interviews) that MLB is highly interested. Manfred is looking for investors sooner than later in order to have a second city with Montreal of the expansion, if expansion is the way to go.

    So that's why the winter will be hot.

    Stay Tuned for the announcement in the next few weeks!

  4. So what's the over/under on if the Rays even acknowledge this Kennedy deal? Hard to imagine them doing anything but waiting until the November elections. Are there follow-up meetings or workshops scheduled in the near future?

    Hopefully MLB isn't as bored with this process as I am, and will decide to move into expansion talks at some point soon. I would hate for the good folks in Montreal to grow tired of the same old exhibition games, when they clearly deserve more. The TV rights may "save" baseball in the Tampa Bay region, but eventually somebody has to do something to grow the fanbase. and not just rely on the same tired excuses for the poor numbers.

  5. To give context on viewership numbers in Canada. It's actually mind boggling.

    1. Exactly.

      The market in Canada is important and by adding a second team, the pie will be bigger because lots of fan stopped watching baseball when the Expos left. So expect a total number of viewers greater that what we got this year.

      And that's why Manfred will not wait years before addressing this important market. Looking at those numbers, Manfred will probably make phone calls to make sure there's no typos!

      And for the ones that did not believe that money is not an issue in Montreal, Rogers made $58M of profits in the last quarter just with the Blue Jays. Next quarter will probably be as important too.

      Bell Media (TSN 1-2-3-4-5 and RDS 1-2-Info) and Videotron (with TVA Sports 1-2) may enter into a huge battle to get the TV rights for the Expos.

      Imagine, the next Blue Jays games are in Montreal in April 2016, the Big O is almost sold out (so probably 115K+ tickets) in less than 6 weeks!

      That's almost 10% of 2015 Rays total tickets sold. With such numbers, even the Rays may ask the Blue Jays to play in Montreal for pre-seasons games, an easy way for them to get lots of money in a single trip of two games.

  6. Unfortunately, Montreal won't be getting a team. You can take that to the bank!

    1. Long time no see, no read!

      Millions of Expos fans in Montreal are laughing right now.

      Continue your good work, Montreal Just for Laugh festival will probably contact you soon. You need a wider range of jokes to be successful!

    2. Why so negative?? Montreal will have a new team within the next five years. Hopefully the Rays will have their stadium saga settled by then...

  7. Not negative at all. I like kidding around.