In celebration of Jack Benny’s birthday and his character, it’s time for Miami Marlins baseball.
It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s the 114th birthday of Jack Benny, the comedian whose persona was that of a vain, cheapskate miser. Valentine’s Day and Jack Benny really have nothing to do with baseball except today is the first day of workouts for the Miami Marlins and love and cheapness could be Marlins 2018 storylines. Bruce Sherman spent a reported $1.2 billion to buy the team and promptly traded off the team’s best and highest profile players. But if you listen to Derek Jeter who is now the face of the franchise, all is going to be good for the Marlins TV partners, the Marlins corporate partners, the Marlins fans and the Marlins players. But it may take a while for that to happen.
There was a report in the Miami Herald that claimed the team would turn a $68 million profit in 2018 based on projections. Most of that money would come from the regional FOX cable TV sports network in a jump of rights fees. Marlins officials think FOX will give the franchise $44 million upfront as a part of a new TV deal. Here’s the problem. Rupert Murdoch’s parent company had sold a good many TV outlets to Disney including the local Miami network. Disney and FOX have a deal but how it will eventually shake out is not known at this point. It may take a while for the deal to be approved by federal regulators. When Sherman bought the Marlins franchise he inherited a poor TV deal worth only $20 million annually from FOX. The agreement has two years remaining. Sherman and his investors believed that FOX would give them between $40 and 70 million annually starting in 2021. That projection may be on hold. Valentine’s Day and Jack Benny’s birthday is the perfect day for the start of the Marlins 2018 season.
Reduced payroll is the order of the day.