The Phillies Are worth over $1 Billion but Operated at a Loss Last Year

This used to be a ballpark... people came to. Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
This used to be a ballpark… people came to. Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When we last checked in on the Phillies’ valuation, they were the sixth most valuable MLB franchise, worth $975 million. Since then, they’ve gone both up and down. According to Forbes’ 2015 MLB valuations, the Phillies come in at number ten:

10. Philadelphia Phillies
Team value: $1.25 bil.
Revenue: $265 mil.
Operating loss: $39.0 mil.

The Phillies recently inked a 25-year television agreement with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia that will begin with the 2016 season and is worth more than $5 billion.

The team’s overall value went up, as did the league’s. “The average baseball team is now worth $1.2 billion, 48% more than a year ago,” according to Forbes. “[That’s] the biggest year-over-year increase since we began tracking team values in 1998. A record 15 MLB teams are now worth at least $1 billion, up from five in 2014.”

Kyle: Few thoughts here:

1) These gains are INSANE, but not surprising. Sports valuations are going up and up thanks to games being one of the few things people have to watch live. We’ve probably reached peak regional broadcast rights deals, but national TV deals (and soon streaming deals?) still have some room to run, I think.

2) The Nationals are ranked ninth, ahead of the Phillies?! They were 13th last year and the Phillies were sixth. Remember that time we all laughed at Jayson Werth? Yeah, we were wrong.

3) The Phillies and, understandably, the spend-happy Dodgers were the only two teams of the top 12 to operate at a loss. In fact, the Phillies had the biggest loss, by far, of any team in the Majors:

Voila_Capture 2015-03-25_02-58-16_PM

That TV deal will kick in soon and things will balance out. But yikes, this is what happens when you have a high payroll and declining ticket sales.


20 Responses

    1. Nerlens Noel will be the 2014/2015 nba rookie of the year.

  1. For Kyle to post the results of the radio war vote, get everyone interested , draw tons of comments, and then have Jim post something really stupid and kill the whole vibe.

    1. Meh. The bracket thing is a sham ever since he rigged the Innes/Marks match up.

  2. Just think, if ala carte menu was available whereby you could chuck Comcast Sportsnet, this team would be worth a fraction of value as there would be no TV deal. However, Comcast wines and dines the legislators who are cheap Wh0res who pass legislation mandating you watch all their crappy channels incl Sportsnet or you watch nothing. Hence, 25 year contracts become viable . The Phils money is contractually good, but down the road if there is an alternative to cable and you don’t have to watch 1,000 mostly crappy channels but only pay the ones you want, bye bye Comcast. They go down the tube as the Phils deal will bankrupt them.

    1. I recently cut off Comcast since basically Philly sports are in the toilet ATM. So far no regrets but I still have to shell out $75/mo for broadband and HBOGO. I wonder if I will ever wee the day these guys fall from their throne. I’ve never disposed a company like I do ComCrap.

  3. You could find a guy out of college who could do a better job than Tom and for a lot less money.

  4. $39 M loss reflects the loss in ticket sales a direct result of management and ownership not having a clue.

    Terribly run organization that should be in the top 5 not top 10 in value.

  5. I love how 97.5 takes an interview and milks it over and over and over again.Yesterday it was the Jeff Lurie interview being played on an endless loop,and and now it’s the Chip Kelly interview.

    1. Making Sunday breakfast is alot nicer without you whining through the 7-8 hour.

  6. $39M GAAP loss could mean something, or it could mean nothing. Like Wu Tang said, Cash Rules Everything Around Me. The cash flow statement gives you a far better sense of how healthy a business is.

    1. Yeah I was about to say that this essentially means nothing. In fact, I bet the ownership group is happy that they “operated at a loss”, since they were probably cash flow positive, and cash is king. Sports teams can do all kinds of ridiculous non-cash accounting tricks like depreciate the value of the players on the team, etc., that would contribute to a “loss”. Team value went up and the Comcast deal is about to kick in…no one in the ownership group is crying over a $39M “loss”

  7. Jim-

    Take the rest of the month off. No, seriously.

    We don’t want to read your dull drivel any longer. Go dream up whatever lame April Fool’s post you and Kyle plan to drop on us this year.

  8. Operating revenue/loss is kind of a tricky term especially with sports teams. In strict terms it could be just ticket sales and things sold in the stadium on game days, minus expenses on game days. But the team’s total revenues could be still be fine from the ahem GIANT TV deal they just signed + other merchandising sales….or existing TV deal revenues until the new one kicks in.

    Usually during labor negotiations with sports leagues half the teams will claim something similar and when you actually dig thru you see that the owner’s personal $20M salary or whatever is counting against “revenues” so they can say they operated at a loss. But the main point that their operating revenues have declined so precipitously is still pretty alarming from where things were 4 years ago.

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