The "special terms" set the Dodgers' annual TV rights fees from the regional network at about $84 million, plus a 4 percent annual escalator, for the life of whatever contract the team signs setting up the network, said the people familiar with the terms. The special terms establishing the $84 million rights fee plus escalator was earlier reported by the Los Angeles Times.
That figure sets the amount of revenue the Dodgers must share. Baseball rules require that big-market teams share 34 percent of regional network rights fees with small-market teams. Unlike National Football League franchises, which get equal parts of league-negotiated TV rights fees, MLB teams have widely disparate broadcast revenues. The 34 percent revenue-sharing requirement is meant to level the financial playing field a bit, though Cramer said accounting techniques often limit the tab for teams with part-ownership of a regional network. [e.a.]
Under the Selig regime, MLB has poached the Wild Card, interleague/interconference play, and strength of schedule from the NFL. But on the policy that has made it possible for a team in Green Bay, Wisconsin (pop. 105,000) to compete with New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, baseball says, "Meh."
Apropos of nothing in particular, the Pirates are about to clinch their 20th consecutive losing season.