Entertainment and media markets and economics
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Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics. Professor William Greene. Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics. Sports Professor W. Greene. What is the Market?. Major U.S. Leagues Hockey Baseball Football Basketball Major U.S. League: NCAA Basketball and Football Smaller

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Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics

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Entertainment and media markets and economics

Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics

Professor William Greene

Entertainment and media markets and economics1

Entertainment and Media: Markets and Economics


Professor W. Greene

What is the market

What is the Market?

  • Major U.S. Leagues

    • Hockey

    • Baseball

    • Football

    • Basketball

  • Major U.S. League: NCAA Basketball and Football

  • Smaller

    • Golf

    • Tennis

    • NASCAR

  • Others?

  • International



  • Total Industry Size

    • What are the components?

    • How large?

  • Subsidiary Industries?

    • Gambling

    • Local Affiliated: Externalities

  • At least $100 billion in the US

Agenda sports economics

Agenda – Sports Economics

  • Sports Leagues and Business Models

    • What is a “league?”

  • Valuation

    • The value of a league

    • The values of the teams in a league

  • Conflicting Economic Forces in Sports Leagues



  • Revenue Models

  • Team vs. League Profits and Valuation

  • Competitive Balance

  • Labor Markets and Contracting

  • Antitrust and Public Policy

  • Trends:

    • Existing Businesses

    • Markets

  • “Science” (for the economic hobbyist)

    • SaberMetrics

    • Hot hands

      • Basketball

      • Tennis

Revenue models

Revenue “Models”

  • Spectator Sports vs. Studio Sports

    • Exhibition (TV and Radio)

    • The fan in the stands. [Yankees. 2.5M seats sold at $30/seat. Player payroll = $190M. The fan in the stands is irrelevant to team profitability

  • Sources of Revenue for Teams and Leagues

    • Fans

    • Merchandising, licensing, etc.

    • TV and Radio

    • Revenue sharing

Major league baseball

Major League Baseball

  • Gross Revenue $3 billion (2000)

    • Local Revenues 2.2 (Montreal = .012, New York Yankees, .176)

    • National TV Revenue 0.8

    • Shared Revenue 0.013

  • The Blue Ribbon Commission (2000)

    • Overall revenue

    • Distribution

    • Long term survival of the nation’s pastime

  • The Steroids Commission (2006) (Same George Mitchell as in 2000)

National basketball association

National Basketball Association

  • Total, approx 3.5 billion

    • Fans in the seats

    • TV contracts

  • Player salaries: Approx 60% and rising

National hockey league

National Hockey League

  • 2002-2003 Combined revenue approx. 2 billion

  • Average player salary approx 1.9 million

  • Aggregate loss, 300 million (on revenue of 2 billion!) and getting worse

National football league

National Football League

  • Long term TV contracts: 8 years, Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, total approx 17.6 billion

  • TV “Pool” approx. $80 million / team

  • “Gate” distributed 40% to teams, 60% to the league

  • Extremely successful. Why?

Amateurs the ncaa

Amateurs? The NCAA

  • Notre Dame Football rights purchased for 7 years by NBC, $45 million

  • NCAA football, 8 years, $1.725 billion

  • Final Four (March Madness)  $100 million in local revenues and business

Other sports franchises

Other Sports Franchises

  • Arena Football


  • Tennis and Golf

  • Any others?

  • How do these differ from the businesses already considered?

Those tv contracts

Those TV Contracts

  • Do the networks “lose” money on huge football contracts? The Miami Fish Story

    • Direct benefits and costs

    • Indirect benefits – promoting other products

  • The winner’s curse. In 1994, Fox bid $600m more than the next highest bid for NFC games

What creates value in a league

What Creates Value in a League?

  • Interdependence within and among teams

  • Cooperation and competition

  • Rent creation by star players

  • Independent ownership and management

  • Collaborative business arrangements

  • Competitive processes

  • Competitive balance

The value of the franchise team

The Value of the Franchise (Team)

  • How computed, in principle

  • If every team maximizes its value, does this maximize the value of the “league?”

    • Does it matter?

    • Sources of inequality in team values

The value of the hockey franchise

The Value of the Hockey Franchise

Team/Principal Owner Value ($M) Income ($M)

New York Rangers/Cablevision Systems $272.4 -6.92

Dallas Stars/Thomas Hicks 270.7 5.63

Toronto Maple Leafs/Larry Tanenbaum 263.9 13.84

Philadelphia Flyers/Comcast-Spectacor 252 3.55

Detroit Red Wings/Michael Ilitch 245 -3.7

The value of the football team

The Value of the Football Team

The reason NFL franchises are valued higher than other sports is because they have the highest national television deal, which brings in about $77 million annually per team. 

Team Values

1.Washington Redskins$952 (mil)

2.Dallas Cowboys$851

3.Houston Texans$791

4.New England Patriots$756

5.Cleveland Browns$695

6.Denver Broncos$683

7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers$671

8.Baltimore Ravens$649

9.Carolina Panthers$642

10.Miami Dolphins$683





Incentive incompatibility

Incentive Incompatibility

  • Winning is everything (Vince Lombardi)

  • Winning isn’t everything (Bud Selig)

  • The New York Yankees player acquisition “model”

  • The leagues seek “competitive balance”

  • Devices:

    • Salary caps on players

    • Revenue sharing (football, not baseball or hockey)

    • Promotion and relegation (UK football)

    • Player draft rankings (US football)

Achieving competitive balance

Achieving Competitive Balance

  • Salary Cap

  • Revenue Sharing

  • Promotion and relegation

  • Ownership structures

Competitive balance

Competitive Balance?

  • MLB: 1984 – 2003, 13 different teams won the world series

  • NFL: 1984 – 2003, 11 different teams won the Lombardy trophy

  • NHL: 1984-2003, 10 different teams won the Stanley cup

  • Is there competitive balance?

Money talks and walks

Money Talks and Walks

  • Since 1995, when baseball began divisional playoffs, 44 of the 56 teams to make the playoffs ranked in the top 10 in player salary. In three of those seven years, the team with the highest payroll achieved the highest goal -- winning the World Series. Not once in those years has a team ranked less than No. 10 in payroll even made it to the World Series.

Labor problems

Labor Problems

  • Division of the Rent

  • Claims to the rent

  • Unstable equilibrium – the effect of free agency

    • Examine salary outcomes

    • Strikes and lockouts – why?

Capturing the rent

Capturing the Rent

Player costs a % of total league revenue

New York Yankees 1996 payroll, $68M, 2004 payroll, $190M

In 2003: NHL, 75%, NFL, 65% of revenues went to players.

*Player’s strike led to cancellation of the World Series



Movie stars, shortstops, late night talk show hosts, perky morning news personalities

Marginal expense on players

Supply of players


Marginal value of players


The source of the Yankees’ $190M payroll – A-Rod  Jeter, Giambi, etc.

Number hired

Market power and equilibrium

Market Power and Equilibrium

  • How to maintain the monopsony equilibrium

    • Collude on salaries – the salary cap

    • Agree not to hire each others’ players (the Reserve Clause)

  • Finding balance: free agency

  • Is this legal?

    • Baseball – Supreme Court

    • Other sports – de facto

Salary cap problems

Salary Cap Problems

  • Kevin Garnett, Minnesota, 1997. $126M, 6 years = (1) All of team TV revenues from NBC or (2) $25/seat of every seat of every game for 6 years (3) The entire franchise purchase of $88M in 1995 + $38M

  • 1996 Chicago Bulls team salary cap = $24.3M. Michael Jordan’s salary, $33M

  • Baseball salaries, average, almost 100 fold increase in 25 years.

  • What is going on here?

Pages stern nyu


  • If all teams are “losing” money, why are the teams so valuable?

Antitrust and public policy

Antitrust and Public Policy

  • Why is Congress interested in sports?

    • Cartel Behavior

    • The antitrust exemption

    • The intersection of sports and the public interest.

Trends in sports

Trends in Sports

  • Wither America’s Pastime

  • Trends in other spectator sports

Science the hot hand

“Science” – The Hot Hand

  • SaberMetrics – The Bill James Story

    • SaberMetrics

    • Moneyball – Billy Beane and The Oakland Athletics

    • The Boston Red Sox

    • Why do this?

  • Hot hands: Is there autocorrelation in the points scored?

    • Basketball

    • Tennis

  • Login