Atlanta Braves Broadcasts Will Stay With Bally Sports...for now
Atlanta Braves Success Makes Them a Keeper
The Braves Franchise has a history of financial issues going back to the turn of the century, but the guiding hand of Liberty Media’s planners created a new revenue stream from the Battery, and the club’s recent success increased ad income for the teams and Bally.
In January, we wrote that the Braves restructured their TV deal and would see broadcast revenue increase to around $100M this year. The Trustees’ unwillingness to part with the Braves indicates they plan to honor the deal, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
When Chip Caray returned to St Louis, Bally immediately started a search for and recently hired Brandon Gaudin to replace Caray. Last week, Bally announced that Bally Sports and Bally Sports Southeast would televise 149 of the club’s games, and the remaining 13 will air as nationally.
In case it isn’t obvious, the RSN model is on life support and MLB wants to inherit the estate.
- Bally’s not out of the woods yet. Some TV providers dropped the RSNs last year, and other contracts end this year.
- On March 1, AT&T officially dropped coverage of Astros, Pirates, and Rockies games,
- MSG Sports is trying to stabilize its revenues after significant losses in 2020 and 2021.
- Warner Brothers told teams it will walk away from its deals with regional sports channels leaving three teams scrambling for a broadcaster.
Teams like the Cubs, who air their games on a network they control, aren't likely to give up that income, and Rogers will hold on to broadcast rights for Toronto.
That’s a Wrap
The bad news of the idiocy of blackouts remains. Somehow, rights owners can’t get it through their heads that they gain nothing from blackouts.
The good news is Atlanta Braves fans will have access to the team as before, with a better crew in the booth, and that’s a good thing.