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Its a great day to be a long-distance Cubs fan!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Read below for exciting Playoff News... but something better than a Yankees, Red Sox game happened today in the World of Baseball!

According to the associated press (via ESPN.com), Major League Baseball will be announcing a deal with XM satellite radio tommorrow (actually later today). All MLB games will be available over XM now. This is awesome news for fans living outside of their home team's radio coverage areas. MLB has made fantastic strides in making its product available online, but who wants to tote a computer around to listen to a baseball game? (Not to mention the blackout restrictions on the MLB.tv are so restrictive, they make the package virtually worthless for those living in the area of the team, but outside the television area... I am 5 hours from the Cubs. I can't get Fox Sports Chicago here, but I can't watch the games on the computer because I am in the Cubs home area. The blackout restrictions are draconian! and completely defeat the purpose of having the package (except for the ability to go back and watch games after they are over.)) (enough parenthetical comments?)

WHEW! The above paragraph turned into one violent rant. Anyhow, the term of the deal appears to be an 8 year $470M contract with MLB options of $60M for three additional years. This translates into about $2M more per team each of the next 7 years. (There is probably no chance in heck that baseball will pick up the option for the last 3 years.) Also, on re-reading the story, it does not appear like this is an exclusive agreement between MLB and XM... thus maybe Sirrius will also end up signing a deal as well... Its a great day to be a long-distance Cubs fan!

From: MLB - Report: XM Satellite Radio signs deal with MLB
Associated Press, Tuesday October 19th, 2004

"The deal would be worth $470 million in cash over eight years, with Major League Baseball having the option to extend the arrangement by up to three additional years at $60 million per year. That would make the deal potentially worth up to $650 million."

Second, whoa! The Red Sox won AGAIN! tieing the series with the Yanks at 3. MLB.com says that this is the first time a baseball team has rallied from 3 down to even a series at 3. (I also believe no team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole to win a 7 game series in any major sport.)

Curt Schilling, torn ankle tendon and all, went 7 strong innings to set the stage for a game 7 at Yankee stadium. I don't especially care for the Yankees Red Sox rivalry too much, but post season games between these two teams... especially game sevens promise to be a night of baseball to be remembered.

Of course, this is too bad for NBC, who waited a long time to premiere 'The West Wing'... only to have the season premier go head to head with the Yanks & Red Sox. (My reader's don't know yet... but I used to love 'The West Wing' for the first two seasons. Then, after September 11, 2001 the whole show fizzled, and now its bad, but I watch for sentimental sake.) Anyhow, the West Wing will have one less viewer tommorrow night.

In other news, the Astros and Cardinals will be playing game 6 at 4 eastern (3 central) tommorow. The Astros currently lead 3-2... and I'm hoping they don't win. I HATE THE ASTROS SO MUCH!

A question: If the Cardinals and Astros play a 14 inning thriller, do you think Fox will wait til the 9th inning to pick up the Yanks & BoSox?

Update: 1:18 A.M. CST

Although I typically try to keep to baseball, this article is so interesting I had to come back and update this post. Apparently, Malcolm Glazer (the owner of the Tampa Bay Bucanneers) who tried to purchase the Dodgers last year has purchased about 12% of the Manchester United in the last 3 days, running his ownership stake up to 28.11%. It appears that he may be attempting a hostile takeover of the famous soccer (futbol) team. According to Brittish law, if he acquires a 30% ownership interest, he must offer to buy-out the remaining owners.

Now this is pure speculation, but Glazer's attempt to purchase the Dodgers hit a snag because he didn't have the liquidity required by the NFL to purchase the Dodgers (If mememor serves me correctly). Thus, unless Glazer has freed up a tremendous amount of liquid assets in the last year... Glazer will probably stop short of the 30% threshold.

Despite the significant stake he has recently acquired (he spent about $108M since last Friday), Glazer remains the #2 stockholder, behind 2 'Irish Horse Owners' who have a company called Cubic Expression (28.9% ownership). Glazer first purchased a stake in the company in March 2003.

Some other interesting tidbits: If an owner controls 50% of the team, he can set the board, and if the owner acquires a 75% stake, he can take the company private (force the others to sell them the company.) Of course, the Cubic Expression gentlemen can keep Glazer from reaching the 75% level if they so desire.

The Long and Short of it is this: Read the Article!

Posted by Byron at October 20, 2004 1:41 AM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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