MLB Reportedly Generated Record $10.3 Billion in Revenue in 2018

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2019

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the baseball owners meeting in Atlanta, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul newberry)
Paul Newberry/Associated Press

Major League Baseball generated $10.3 billion in baseball-related revenues in 2018, Forbes' Maury Brown reported Monday.

The figure marked an MLB record, topping the $10 billion it earned in 2017. Brown noted it was the 16th straight year in which MLB set a revenue record.

Disney announced in August 2017 it was purchasing a majority stake in BAMTech from MLB Advanced Media for $1.6 billion. Disney had previously invested $1 billion in BAMTech for a 33 percent stake in August 2016.

According to Brown, the combined $2.6 billion MLB received wasn't reflected in its baseball-related revenue and was instead counted as capital.

Yahoo Sports' Ben Weinrib noted the state of MLB's finances contrasts with how teams have approached free agency recently. Collective spending on player salaries fell by $115.4 million from 2017 to 2018.

MLB attendance declined in 2018 as well. The league averaged fewer than 30,000 fans (28,830) at games for the first time since 2003.

Still, television deals will largely ensure MLB continues to make money at historic levels.

Fox, ESPN and Turner Sports will broadcast MLB games through 2021, at which point the league's seven-year, $5.1 billion contract extension with Fox will begin. Brown reported MLB is negotiating extensions with ESPN and Turner to carry on their partnerships beyond 2021 as well.

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