March 2019 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap

MLB Attempting To Collectively Purchase RSNs From Disney

Mar 28, 2019 12:31 PM

MLB is seeking to gain control of local broadcasting agreements with teams and has placed a bid to purchase regional sports networks from Disney.

Disney acquired 22 RSNs as part of its $71 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's entertainment business.

“There’s tremendous revenue disparity in our game, and I think that if we had more of a national model closer to where the NFL is it would solve a lot of those competitive issues for us, kind of level the playing field,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday.

“I think that all of the difficult issues for baseball, if you took that revenue disparity out of the picture, would be easier.”

The New York Yankees have a right of first refusal to buy back control of their YES Network and have arranged partners for their own deal. MLB wants to purchase the remaining networks.

“Strategically, it would be a very interesting move for us,” Manfred said during a breakfast at The Paley Center for Media.

“Our game has always had sort of a national broadcast component that’s come out of New York. But the bulk of our business has been local. And the idea of a central baseball having more control over local rights is one that’s really intriguing to us. If we do the transaction, we’ll do it on the theory that we will try to accumulate more.”

Leagues and teams are worried how the cord-cutting trend will impact this business.

“You’re buying an ongoing RSN business, which generates really significant profits right now,” Manfred said. “I think everybody knows that it’s probably going to degrade over time as the cable model erodes.

“I think for us, we’d be prepared to live with that, run out of profitability and at the end of that runout, assuming it comes to some sort of a hard end, we would be in control of the content, which we fundamentally believe in, and we think that holding it as a lead better positions us to figure out exactly what that next distribution model is going to look like for the benefit of the league, as opposed to having some kind of private equity firm owning the RSNs.”

Ronald Blum/AP

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Longshot Orioles Getting Bets To Win World Series

Mar 27, 2019 7:49 AM

The Baltimore Orioles are coming off a 115-loss season and Las Vegas has set their World Series odds at 2,000-1.

Despite those odds, a few risk-takers have been willing to back Baltimore.

At William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia, there have been more bets on the Orioles to win the World Series than 10 other teams.

David Purdum/ESPN

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Misc Rumor

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Orioles Name Alex Cobb Opening Day Starter

Mar 14, 2019 8:14 AM

The Baltimore Orioles have named Alex Cobb their Opening Day starter.

Cobb had a 4.90 ERA in 28 starts in 2018.

"We feel like he's earned it," Brandon Hyde said. "His track record speaks for itself, and we're just excited about naming him Opening Day starter."

ESPN

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Misc Rumor

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