Disney has bought 15 percent of BAMTech from Major League Baseball for $900 million and that will be dispersed among the 30 baseball teams, $30 million apiece, reports Eric Fisher of SportBusiness Group.
If this sounds familiar, that's because Disney has been buying chunks of BAMTech from MLB for years and this was the final 15 percent. Disney has now bought all of it from Major League Baseball in a monster payday for each of the teams.
This essentially completes a series of transactions starting in 2016. Disney first invested $1 billion in BAMTech that year, $1.58 billion more in 2017 to gain controlling interest, and another $350 million earlier this year for the NHL's minority stake.— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) November 29, 2022
BAM Technologies is a software development company with its roots in digital streaming originally with Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) while the NHL had a minority stake. As noted in the above tweet, Disney first got involved with a $1 billion investment in 2016 and has continued dishing out the cash to take over in the ensuing years. Now Disney owns all of it while MLB was able to make a windfall thanks to the folks at MLBAM.
The easy short-term takeaway here is that each team just gained $30 million. Obviously, we shouldn't be shallow enough to believe teams are going to or should be required to turn around and increase their player payrolls by $30 million apiece. There are many costs to running a team other than payroll, of course.
By the same token, this needs to serve as yet another reminder that we shouldn't be naïve enough to believe the owners when they talk about how much money they lose or how they hardly make any money. There are somewhat-hidden streams of revenue for each team and the ones that cry poor never open up their books for scrutiny. Until the latter happens on a regular basis, count me about the skeptics when it comes to the owners who claim they lose money each year.
The bottom line is this: It's another great day for Major League Baseball's collective bottom line. We'll file it away in our memory banks for future use.