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The Power of TV Money

March 7, 2014
By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

Want to see the power TV dollars on sports? Look no further than the NFL and Major League Baseball. The NFL salary cap for the 2014 season will be $133 million, up $10 million from last year’s cap. Because of the NFL’s new TV contracts, the salary cap is expected to increase significantly over the next few years, potentially reaching $150 million by 2016.

In baseball, at least 14 MLB teams will have payrolls over $100 million this season, with the Los Angeles Dodgers leading the way at $217 million. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, and Milwaukee Brewers are three teams that could post $100 million payrolls for the first time in franchise history.

Big payrolls are the new norm in MLB. Many teams are flush with cash after signing new local TV rights deals, some worth more than $100 million annually. Regardless, there still exists a gap between teams that have signed new TV deals in recent years and those still operating under old agreements. By comparison, the NFL does its TV deals on the league level, so all teams get the same amount.

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