Photo: By David Berkowitz on Flickr
The Wall Street Journal reported today that the New York Mets will probably not be able to sell any of their stake in the SNY cable network in order to lure a new minority partner to the team.The Mets own 65% of Sportsnet New York, a regional cable network which runs Mets games and other area sports content. It’s currently valued at around $1 billion.
But the rest is owned by Time Warner and Comcast, and according to WSJ, their contracts allow them the right to either block any sale of the Mets stake or to buy those shares themselves to increase their own percentage. Given the value of the network, that’s a route they’re much more likely to take.
That makes minority ownership of the Mets a much less attractive deal, since that’s the only part of the team that makes any money. The network brought in $15M in subscriber fees last year, while the baseball team posted a huge loss.
Without that bargaining chip, the Wilpon family will have an even harder time trying to convince a new owner to give them $200 million of a non-controlling, non-profitable stake in the team.
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