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Major League Baseball sets new revenue record: $10.7 billion

T-Mobile Home Run Derby

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred looks on during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Forbes’ Maury Brown is reporting that, for the 17th year in a row, Major League Baseball has set a new revenue record, raking in $10.7 Billion in 2019. That’s up from $10.3 billion the year before.

What’s more, growth is poised to accelerate soon. Whereas revenue has increased relatively incrementally over the past couple of seasons, new television deals, including the national deal with Fox which goes up some 40% over the current deal, are going to begin kicking in soon, which should see things ramp up dramatically. The billion dollar deal with Nike -- which put all the swooshes on the uniforms -- also begins paying out in 2020. Other sponsorship deals -- “The official [whatever] of Major League Baseball!” -- remain significant sources of revenue increases as well.

Forbes notes that ticket revenue is holding steady despite an attendance decline, which means that the league is simply extracting more dollars per fan than they used to. Meanwhile, current player payroll for the league was $4.7 billion. This offseason is still ongoing so it’s too early to tell where things will end up in 2020, but in 2018, average player salaries declined for the first time in 14 years and this year’s qualifying offer -- which is based on a subset of average salaries -- went down as well.

In other news, Major League Baseball continues to press its plan to eliminate over 40 minor league teams while asking the remaining teams to help subsidize its operations.

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