Jewish World Review March 5, 2003 / 1 Adar II, 5763
Baseball may no longer be very, very good to Ruppert Murdoch
Ruppert Murdoch is
a lot of things to a lot of people. To fellow baseball owners,
he is a sugar daddy in that he is responsible for the
over-the-air TV national contract and in many markets local
regional cable TV money.
But Murdoch's grip on baseball seems to be fading. The Murdoch-
owned Los Angeles Dodgers are for sale and now some of
Murdoch's fellow owners thinking of leaving him so they can
start regional sports networks, which in a way is going back
to cable TV's early days.
The Minnesota Twins will start a cable network in 2004, the
Houston Astros are threatening to jump to a regional sports
network in 2006 that Astros owner Drayton McLaine would own
with Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. The Chicago White Sox
and the Cubs could also be planning a network which
would undoubtedly cablecast Bulls games as well. The Astros
and White Sox are seen on Fox cable affiliates.
Team owners can make more money owning a cable network
and that means a good number of owners could be saying
goodbye to Ruppert Murdoch.
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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business
of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.
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© 2003, Evan Weiner