"Invasion of the Body Snatchers," MLB style. There will be no more worries.
- Just a few years ago baseball worried that owners who had amassed cash and influence in media might gain unfair advantage.
- (NY Times, 1998): "Baseball has long been suspicious of media companies' owning teams because they can offset club losses with profits from their main businesses....
- ''Every team is supposed to have one vote, but can he influence more than one?
If he pays enough for a team's rights, is it tantamount to his having a profit participation in another team?'"...
- Even Larry Lucchino worried at the time--a little projection, perhaps.
- Larry Lucchino, the Padres' president, said that ''Fox's disproportionate influence on two dozen teams through its TV deals
- creates an opportunity to manipulate the arrangement for political purposes. Fox can say, 'If you don't vote for X, you'll have trouble on your TV deal.' ''
- (NY Times): "The Padres and other teams worry that as an owner, Fox, controlled by Murdoch, will have access
- to their financial statements and use that knowledge at future television rights negotiations. Or, knowing how important local rights payments are,
- teams are concerned that Fox can influence the signing of free agents through well-timed extensions of cable rights deals...
- he would ignore any rules that constrained him."....(Today, if you ignore a rule, you'll wish you'd never been born).
- They got one verbal concession from Murdoch in 1998:
- not beaming Dodger games to Japan on Mr. Murdoch's JSkyB TV satellite network.
- Baseball wants to insure those television revenues would be shared."
- (NY Times): "Fox has no intention of selling Dodgertown and moving spring training west."...
- Reference: NY Times article by Richard Sandomir, "Warily, Baseball prepares to Make Murdoch owner of the Dodgers, 3/8/08