08 April 2005

Forbes 2005 MLB valuations + KFRC going bye-bye

As they have since 1998, Forbes has just published its yearly franchise values list. Not surprisingly, the Yanks and Red Sox are at the top of the list. An exploratory article accompanies the rankings.

The A's slipped in value $1 million to be worth an estimated $185 million, which is slightly higher than the Wolff/Fisher group's $180 million purchase price. Was this a hometown discount? We may never know.

The A's reportedly received $116 million in revenue in 2004, which when factoring in the $19 million revenue sharing payment they received, is probably correct. With revenue sharing, they pulled in a nearly $6 million profit. Without it, they'd run more than $13 million in the red, though it'd be more likely that they'd slash payroll enough to stay more-or-less in the black. It does make one wonder where the rest of the money goes. Every team claims $40 million or more every year in player development and other non-payroll operations-related costs, but it's not as if the A's draft players that demand huge signing bonuses. They don't have any stadium debt, and rarely do they venture into the expensive non-draftee foreign markets (Japan, Cuba). Perhaps there's a directive from the commish that teams who get large revenue sharing payments cannot extend their payroll as a result. That would make sense, but then what would the owners do with the extra cash? Well, it certainly does not suck to be them.

Then again, they may want to pocket that change, since KFRC will no longer broadcast A's games after this season. That makes one less high-power AM station available, thereby driving down the price of broadcast rights. On a related note, It's about time the A's and KNBR started getting along again. On and off for a few years, KNBR wouldn't broadcast A's highlights on radio because of a competitive situation between KNBR's parent, Susquehanna, and CBS/Infinity, which owned KFRC.