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The value of Major League Baseball clubs is on the rise – with the New York Yankees the most valuable team – amid uncertainty in the realm of regional sports networks.
The Yankees have been named Forbes’ most valuable baseball team – with their value rising 18 percent since last season to a valuation of a whopping $7.1billion.
With the Steinbrenner family in charge, the Yankees have seen increased success and a growing gap to their rivals in the rest of the league.
The next closest team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, has a value of $4.8billion. The Boston Red Sox ($4.5bn) and the Chicago Cubs ($4.1bn) are the only other teams with valuations above $4bn, according to the list.
The San Francisco Giants, at a value of $3.7bn, round out the top five of teams in the Major Leagues.
The New York Yankees remain the most valuable team in all of Major League Baseball
But trouble at Bally Sports, a regional sports network brand, could bring issues for 2023
At the other end of the table, the Miami Marlins are the least valuable team in all of baseball with a worth of $1bn.
The next four teams – that round out the bottom five – are the Oakland A’s ($1.18bn), Cincinnati Reds ($1.19bn), Kansas City Royals ($1.2bn), and the Tampa Bay Rays ($1.25bn).
The team that experienced the most growth in value is the Seattle Mariners – whose value jumped 29 percent. The M’s also have the highest operating income of all MLB teams at $83.8million.
Seven teams experienced no growth at all: the Washington Nationals, the Minnesota Twins, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Guardians, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Oakland A’s.
While there wasn’t an MLB team that lost value, there could be trouble on the horizon for those teams whose regional sports networks are owned by Diamond Sports Group – operating the RSN’s under the Bally Sports banner.
Diamond, one of the largest distributors of live sports in the country, recently declared bankruptcy. DSG and MLB have been assuring fans that they will not miss any games.
Fourteen of MLB’s 30 teams have regional syndication deals with Bally Sports – with the LA Angels the most valuable team signed to them.
|Rank||Team||Value (in $billions)||One-year Change||Operating Income (in $millions)|
|1||New York Yankees||7.1||18%||16.3|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers||4.8||18%||14.3|
|3||Boston Red Sox||4.5||15%||71.6|
|5||San Francisco Giants||3.7||6%||74.9|
|6||New York Mets||2.9||9%||-138.5|
|7||Los Angeles Angels||2.7||23%||35.8|
|10||St. Louis Cardinals||2.55||4%||43.1|
|14||Toronto Blue Jays||2.1||18%||-33.7|
|15||Chicago White Sox||2.05||16%||-53.4|
|17||San Diego Padres||1.75||11%||-55.2|
|26||Tampa Bay Rays||1.25||14%||9.5|
|27||Kansas City Royals||1.2||8%||27.8|
Diamond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The move came after it missed a $140million interest payment last month.
Diamond owns 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner with rights to 42 professional teams, including 14 baseball teams with the start of the MLB season looming.
The Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers all have their broadcasting rights owned by Bally Sports.
The company, which has more than $8bn in debt, said in a release that it expects to continue to operate during the bankruptcy process and that coverage of games should not be affected.
Diamond Sports also said it is negotiating a restructuring agreement with debt holders that will eliminate most of its debt. Under an agreement with creditors, it would become a separate company from Sinclair Broadcast Group, that bought the regional sports networks in 2019.
The company added that it possesses $425m of cash in order to continue funding its business during the process.
Major League Baseball has set up a local media department in case it has to take over broadcasts for teams. Games would air locally via MLB Network or streamed on MLB.TV in case that happened.
Source: DailyMail UK