The Dodgers, the closest thing the Padres have to a rival, are hurting the Padres once again. This time, it’s not in the standings or on the ball field. The Dodgers and their mismanaged team are holding up the Padres new TV deal with Fox. Frank McCourt and his continued greed leads a charge to sell the Fox TV deal the Dodger have separately from the sale of the Dodgers team. Fox and MLB do not want that to happen. The television deal provides a big incentive for any prospective buyers.
How does this affect the Padres? Bud Selig must approve all television contracts. He is not in a position to (read: will not) approve the Padres deal with Fox until the Dodgers deal is worked out.
As reported by John Maffei of North County Times, the Padres are not in danger of having no games broadcast in 2012, but the official deal with Fox cannot be announce nor finalized until the Dodgers, their court battle, and Frank McCourt are handled.
The importance of the deal cannot be overstated. TV contracts provide a good source of revenue for ball clubs. For a small-market team like the Padres, such a contract can stimulate the team, help with roster moves, and improve facilities. The Biz of Baseball pointed out last year that, “while each MLB franchise takes in $20 million plus annually from national TV rights, local rights fees or revenues from franchise owned RSNs are often much greater.” That type of money helps off-set attendance issues and owners who may not have deep pockets.
Next time, you’re watching a Padres game, remember one thing. Remember you are helping build a winning ball club. Your viewership fuels the TV networks and helps entice networks to sign these contracts with Major League clubs. So continue watching, just stay tuned for where to watch.