Major League Baseball and the Players Association frustrated baseball fans years ago when they began requiring licensing that forced board games like Statis-Pro Baseball to stop producing player cards. I even invented my own game of 36 historic teams, and was told by one official, “Your game is the one with the huge brown and green dice, yeah I loved that,” before being rejected. As much as we missed our board games, the hard-lined approach has paid off as we approach Opening Day with the value of baseball teams increasing a record 23 percent in one year.
TV viewership, even in the World Series, is lagging behind and was beaten by the NBA championships last year. But Major League Baseball has made moves to be stronger than ever even with fewer viewers.
With electronic apps and video games replacing board games, MLB was in front of the curve from a business prospective, even though swinging in front of a curve is actually not good in a baseball game.
According to an ESPN report on the new Forbes valuations,
“Each team also owns an equal share in MLB Advanced Media, which, among other things, has generated massive revenue from its game-day video and audio app MLB At Bat, the highest grossing sports app in the Apple store on the iPhone and iPad for four consecutive years. MLB Advanced Media generates more than $600 million in revenue, and Forbes conservatively values the subsidiary at $6 billion.”
Add to that the $1 billion in a hedge fund from the $450 million sale of the Expos in 2006, and the league has been run well from a business perspective.
For the full story from Forbes, click here.