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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dodgers Bankruptcy Deal Exempts Local TV Revenues From Sharing Rules

Bloomberg today has a fascinating article that claims the Dodgers' bankruptcy exit has an incredible clause limiting the team's exposure to local TV revenue sharing. Only the first $84M of RSN revenue would be subject to revenue sharing; by contrast, normally 34% of such revenues are required to be shared with the league. This effectively gives the Dodgers quite a bit of leeway, perhaps even more than the Yankees have.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And So, Goodnight: The (Diminishment) Of Dodger Thoughts

Little needs to be said that Jon hasn't said. Best wishes, always, Jon.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MLB's Customer Alignment Problem, And How Cable TV Isn't Going Away Any Time Soon

Ken Arneson, late of the Toaster blog, writes a thought-provoking piece on the nature of baseball's customer relationships shifting from fans themselves directly (via ticket sales) to TV networks. It's an alteration that both changes the paying customer and removes the fans further from the teams trying to sell to them.
Amazon and Apple sell most of their products directly to their users. When their customers buy something they make, they know the product is good; when they don’t buy, they know immediately they made a mistake. Microsoft doesn’t sell directly to users– they sell to distributors and OEM manufacturers, so there’s noise injected into their feedback loop, and they land just a little lower on this spectrum. Google sells ads, but their ads are often directly related to what the customer wants; if someone is searching for jeans, they get an ad for jeans. Sometimes the ad happens to be exactly what the user wants.

Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, need to inject their ads into an environment where the users wouldn’t really want to see ads at all if they didn’t have to. This leads to customer dissatisfaction, expressed not just in the Onion parody above, but also in a real-life alternative social networks like App.net who are trying to sell directly to users.

He also goes on to cite an interesting article claiming that most of the "cord cutting" in cable TV is really shifting to telco-owned cable company replacements like AT&T Uverse and Verizon FiOS. (This has been one of my big bugbears this year as the Dodgers' new ownership has basically placed an all-in bet that Fox or Time Warner will recoup their investment.) This should be a very interesting space to watch going forward.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The End Of 2002: A's 4, Angels 1

So much has gone on, but it seems like even management doesn't give a damn anymore; extending a 2-run deficit to a 4-run hole with the team blanked for inning after inning, because they sent Jason Isringhausen out there, would be inexcusable if it weren't for the ransacking of the bullpen from the night before. Really, the only reason to show up for 2013 season tickets is the prospect of seeing Mike Trout every day, but he's only one player. The rest are aging or dubious. Weaver is a mess lately, and his injury is scary. Kendrick at second is a disappointment, Kendrys at first a cipher who may recover, or not, but in any case will be a juggling act with Pujols for playing time. Aybar isn't really a top tier shortstop, third base is an open question, and while I love individual aspects of the outfield (Trout), the corners are far less certain. Torii Hunter almost certainly won't be back, and even if he was, would he be good? Vernon Wells will return (and will suck), and that means Bourjos and his weak bat in center.

The non-Weaver parts of the rotation are almost certain to be a shambles again. Wilson and Haren will be albatrosses. Santana will have gone to free agency and a slot with the Royals or whatever other cellar dweller wants him, or if he gets lucky and parlays his second half into a better contract, maybe some middling club like the Braves. Ugh. Can't think about paying that kind of money for the junkpile team the 2013 Angels are about to become. And the sad thing is they won't likely even get a protected draft pick for their efforts in 2014.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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