This graph depicts the revenue of all Major League Baseball teams in 2012. The revenue of the Houston Astros franchise was million U.S. dollars.
Major Legue Baseball revenue
Major League Baseball (MLB), with its 30 teams, generated around 6.8 billion U.S. dollars in total revenue in the 2012 season, almost twice the revenue generated ten years ago, when total revenue was at 3.65 billion U.S. dollars. On average each team generated almost 227 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2012. The New York Yankees were the highest-earning team in Major League Baseball with 471 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2012, while the Tampa Bay Rays were the team with the lowest earnings with revenues at around 167 million U.S. dollars.
Almost 35 percent of the total leaguewide-revenue is earned from gate receipts (ticket sales). The New York Yankees for example had almost 300 million U.S. dollars of income from gate receipts alone.
Television and media rights constitute another important stream of revenue. In 2012 MLB reached agreements on new broadcasting deals with Fox, TBS and ESPN, that will start with the 2014 season and bring in an estimated total of 12.4 billion U.S. dollars in revenue through 2021. This revenue is equally shared among all 30 teams, an average of 52 million U.S. dollars per team and season.
Beside these league-wide deals, many teams have lucrative, individual TV-deals. The New York Yankees for example received 85 million U.S. dollars in fees from the YES Network for the broadcasting rights of their games in the 2012 season.
A growing part of revenues is earned by Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), which is jointly owned in equal shares by all MLB teams. MLBAM is responsible for marketing and operating the league’s internet and interactive branch and totaled around 650 million U.S. dollars in revenues in 2012. The revenue is derived from online ticket sales, MLB shop sales, content subscriptions (MLB.tv) and advertising/sponsorships. In 2012, each team received an equal share of a dividend worth around 100 million U.S. dollars.
Strong revenue growth has had a large impact on the valuation of MLB franchises. In 2003, the average franchise value was estimated at 295 million U.S. dollars. For 2013, the average value of a MLB franchise was 744 million U.S. dollars. This amounts to a CAGR of 9.69 percent in value over the last ten years. The New York Yankees are the most valuable franchise with an estimated worth of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers, which were sold to a new ownership group in 2013 for around 2 billion U.S. dollars, with an estimated value of 1.615 billion U.S. dollars.