July 12, 2018

OTHER THAN BRETT KAVANAUGH:

Nobody's Going to Sports in Person Anymore. And No One Seems to Care. (Will Leitch, 7/11/18, New York)

But the main reason attendance is down, in Major League Baseball as well as most of the other major professional sports, and the main reason owners and commissioners aren't sweating it too much, I'd argue, is because it can be. Teams don't really care anymore about bringing fans to the stadium -- at least not as much as they used to --because they no longer need people in the seats to make money.

Last year, the NFL brought in revenues of more than $17 billion, and Major League Baseball earned more than $10 billion, records for both sports. An increasingly small percentage of all that revenue came from attendance. The NFL attributes most of its 2017 improvement to a new Thursday Night Football television package and increased media payments from other properties. MLB's numbers, which grew even more the year before (when its Advanced Media arm spun off into its own company and was sold for $2.58 billion to Disney), came from expanded partnerships, local television ratings, and its own media-rights deals. Attendance has been down each of last seven years in MLB, and MLB's revenue has been up every single season. Knowing that, how much would you sweat attendance numbers?

Posted by at July 12, 2018 4:07 AM

  

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