Here is an article from philly.com regarding some players the Phillies might pick up to add to the mix. While not terribly important, sometimes they are. This is where Pat Gillick tended to have success. I’m not going to comment much on it because it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Here is a good article from Frank Fitzpatrick of the Inquirer. While sometimes sounding like a grumpy old man, Fitzpatrick has found his stride lately with his Sunday columns in the Inquirer’s sports page. This latest one is about the latest wave of TV deals in baseball and how it can affect their broadcasters. It has some interesting info on the money involved in the deals and how it falls onto the average Joe and Jane:
Because of that, these sports networks can charge cable providers a hefty per-customer fee – $5 in the case of ESPN – and the providers in turn pass on the increased costs to consumers who have few options.
That’s why, according to the NPD Group, which conducts research on the subject, the average cable bill should top $200 by the end of the decade. Right now, it’s at $86, with half that total going toward sports programming.
There’s no way $200 a month is sustainable and that’s mentioned in the article:
“It’s an unsustainable model for sports rights to escalate at a pace that’s exponentially higher than wages for families,” Dan York, DirecTV’s chief content officer, recently told LA Weekly magazine. “It’s coming to the breaking point.”
Baseball may be more vulnerable than most sports. Its TV fan base not only is diminishing, it’s aging. The 2012 World Series telecasts, as an example, attracted more women 50 and older than men under 49.
“I’m certain that at some point in the very near future, the balloon will burst,” Matt Polka, president of the American Cable Association, told the magazine. “And when it does, baseball will bear the brunt of it.”
So, at some point the craziness of the salaries will have to stop and be reigned in, or at least that’s the way it seems. The aging audience isn’t going to help either as advertisers tend to like younger viewers.