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pilight



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 1:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Nobody here seemed to notice that the rights fee for broadcasting went from $0 to tens of millions with the players getting basically nothing in the last CBA. This is what the last agreement should have looked like.



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 1:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
Nobody here seemed to notice that the rights fee for broadcasting went from $0 to tens of millions with the players getting basically nothing in the last CBA. This is what the last agreement should have looked like.


So, you're saying that the union did a lousy job of negotiating last time.



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 1:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
pilight wrote:
Nobody here seemed to notice that the rights fee for broadcasting went from $0 to tens of millions with the players getting basically nothing in the last CBA. This is what the last agreement should have looked like.


So, you're saying that the union did a lousy job of negotiating last time.

Also that a fair amount of stuff has happened since then that wasn't passed on to the players (and wasn't always detailed very clearly to the teams, either). A fair proportion of this stuff probably is just catching up to where it should've already been, rather than leaping beyond that point. Which of course means either the league or the teams (or both) may have been a little bit cloudy about their situation for the last few years...



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pilight



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 1:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
pilight wrote:
Nobody here seemed to notice that the rights fee for broadcasting went from $0 to tens of millions with the players getting basically nothing in the last CBA. This is what the last agreement should have looked like.


So, you're saying that the union did a lousy job of negotiating last time.


Yes. It wasn't a coincidence that they canned Pam Wheeler before the ink was even dry on the last agreement or that the player leadership was completely overhauled. The players have been preparing for this CBA fight for years.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 4:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Ultimately, do fans have any reason to care if owners make or lose money? I don't. The league has been around 20+ years - if it was going to fold it would have done a long time ago.



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 4:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

<embed><iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/baSae8WN9SU" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></embed>

https://youtu.be/baSae8WN9SU



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PostPosted: 01/14/20 5:21 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Genero36 wrote:
<embed><iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/baSae8WN9SU" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></embed>

https://youtu.be/baSae8WN9SU


I liked that it was mentioned, but they did have to squeeze it in the last 20 seconds. Robin Roberts is scheduled to be on Friday's show, so I hope it's brought up again.



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ClayK



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PostPosted: 01/15/20 9:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
Ultimately, do fans have any reason to care if owners make or lose money? I don't. The league has been around 20+ years - if it was going to fold it would have done a long time ago.


If owners make money, then there will be expansion. If owners make money, players and coaches make more money. If owners make money, fan experience gets better. If owners make money, players get better care and travel gets easier.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 01/15/20 10:50 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Just because the owners received millions in additional TV money in recent years doesn't mean they are necessarily in a position to share it. If they were losing $3 million a year and now they get an extra $2 million from TV, they're still running a $1 million deficit. We don't know what the actual numbers are, so anything is possible. That was the original point I was making. All I know is expenses just went up significantly. Whether the league is in a realistic position to absorb them or if owners are being over-optimistic about future revenues is something we'll have to wait and see.



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PostPosted: 01/15/20 11:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As I've said too many times, we'll know the WNBA is successful when a franchise is sold for real money.



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tfan



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PostPosted: 01/17/20 2:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:

All I can say, as someone who spent much of his career doing corporate budgeting and planning, is that this looks like a huge bump in overall compensation cost. Whether it hits the cap or not, teams have to shell out real money. And don't forget the upgrades in travel, housing, and even pregnancy leave. I don't know how they're going to pay for it. Either the league has really optimistic projections for future revenue or the owners have been holding out on the players bigtime. This is no gradual or incremental change like you normally see in a new union contract. Something is off -- I feel it in my bones.


I agree. How can you have teams in a big market like LA losing so much money under the previous owner, New York in the biggest market never profitable, and yet the teams can suddenly afford a lot more expense. Only makes sense to me if the NBA is going to be footing the bill for the extra costs. I am sure they could afford to. Or it would make sense if the league only had filthy rich owners who are committed to losing a larger amount of money. But I don't think Seattle fits that bill. And probably not Atlanta either. Las Vegas is owned by a company, so it has to be of value to them - either making money or bringing in more business in other areas than they lose on the team. Same for Connecticut.


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PostPosted: 01/17/20 8:31 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

tfan wrote:
root_thing wrote:

All I can say, as someone who spent much of his career doing corporate budgeting and planning, is that this looks like a huge bump in overall compensation cost. Whether it hits the cap or not, teams have to shell out real money. And don't forget the upgrades in travel, housing, and even pregnancy leave. I don't know how they're going to pay for it. Either the league has really optimistic projections for future revenue or the owners have been holding out on the players bigtime. This is no gradual or incremental change like you normally see in a new union contract. Something is off -- I feel it in my bones.


I agree. How can you have teams in a big market like LA losing so much money under the previous owner, New York in the biggest market never profitable, and yet the teams can suddenly afford a lot more expense. Only makes sense to me if the NBA is going to be footing the bill for the extra costs. I am sure they could afford to. Or it would make sense if the league only had filthy rich owners who are committed to losing a larger amount of money. But I don't think Seattle fits that bill. And probably not Atlanta either. Las Vegas is owned by a company, so it has to be of value to them - either making money or bringing in more business in other areas than they lose on the team. Same for Connecticut.


I don't know about Seattle's owners, but one of Atlanta's owners has a net worth large enough to donate millions to political campaigns and plans to spend $20 million to win the US Senate race in November. Her "joint net worth" (with husband) is over $500 m. So losing money on her WNBA team seems insignificant.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 01/17/20 9:09 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
tfan wrote:
root_thing wrote:

All I can say, as someone who spent much of his career doing corporate budgeting and planning, is that this looks like a huge bump in overall compensation cost. Whether it hits the cap or not, teams have to shell out real money. And don't forget the upgrades in travel, housing, and even pregnancy leave. I don't know how they're going to pay for it. Either the league has really optimistic projections for future revenue or the owners have been holding out on the players bigtime. This is no gradual or incremental change like you normally see in a new union contract. Something is off -- I feel it in my bones.


I agree. How can you have teams in a big market like LA losing so much money under the previous owner, New York in the biggest market never profitable, and yet the teams can suddenly afford a lot more expense. Only makes sense to me if the NBA is going to be footing the bill for the extra costs. I am sure they could afford to. Or it would make sense if the league only had filthy rich owners who are committed to losing a larger amount of money. But I don't think Seattle fits that bill. And probably not Atlanta either. Las Vegas is owned by a company, so it has to be of value to them - either making money or bringing in more business in other areas than they lose on the team. Same for Connecticut.


I don't know about Seattle's owners, but one of Atlanta's owners has a net worth large enough to donate millions to political campaigns and plans to spend $20 million to win the US Senate race in November. Her "joint net worth" (with husband) is over $500 m. So losing money on her WNBA team seems insignificant.


It all depends on why the owners bought their teams, as well as what the WNBA is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to build a sustainable commercial model, then it's legitimate to ask how the expenses pair up with revenue. However, if the WNBA is aiming for an ersatz nonprofit model akin to a museum, symphony orchestra or ballet company, then yes, expecting rich owners to lose money year after year is acceptable. Essentially, you are replacing multiple donors with one big donor. As I've mentioned previously when we had this discussion, there were two significant ballet companies -- The Cedar Lake Ballet and Harkness Ballet -- that were each supported by a lone benefactor. The first lasted 12 years and the second 11 years. Eventually, even rich people get tired of losing money or they just get bored with the project. Or maybe they die and their heirs are not happy with perpetually losing money. I suppose if you're a league just trying to survive any way you can, this is what you do. However, there is at least some pretense by the league that they're striving for a sustainable model rather than just hoping for charity.



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PostPosted: 01/17/20 9:43 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
It all depends on why the owners bought their teams, as well as what the WNBA is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to build a sustainable commercial model, then it's legitimate to ask how the expenses pair up with revenue. However, if the WNBA is aiming for an ersatz nonprofit model akin to a museum, symphony orchestra or ballet company, then yes, expecting rich owners to lose money year after year is acceptable. Essentially, you are replacing multiple donors with one big donor. As I've mentioned previously when we had this discussion, there were two significant ballet companies -- The Cedar Lake Ballet and Harkness Ballet -- that were each supported by a lone benefactor. The first lasted 12 years and the second 11 years. Eventually, even rich people get tired of losing money or they just get bored with the project. Or maybe they die and their heirs are not happy with perpetually losing money. I suppose if you're a league just trying to survive any way you can, this is what you do. However, there is at least some pretense by the league that they're striving for a sustainable model rather than just hoping for charity.

I've definitely been seeing an increasing number of people/places basically saying that losing money is no big deal, loads of sports leagues have done it, and it's an 'investment' rather than any kind of troubling issue. Which is fine, as long as there's someone (or a group of someones) willing to foot the bill. Otherwise at some point big strong guys start showing up to confiscate all your stuff and/or people stop getting paid. And as you say, it becomes a question of how long those people are willing to keep losing money and calling it an 'investment', and is that long enough for you to at least start breaking even?



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PostPosted: 01/17/20 4:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Landmark WNBA deal a victory for women of color in leadership
For an entire daily news cycle, the WNBA and its leadership were front and center for a CBA that was called “historic” and “game-changing.” Women of color were receiving credit in the workplace.
Sean A. Hurd (The Undefeated)

https://theundefeated.com/features/landmark-wnba-deal-a-victory-for-women-of-color-in-leadership/


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PostPosted: 01/18/20 8:14 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
root_thing wrote:
It all depends on why the owners bought their teams, as well as what the WNBA is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to build a sustainable commercial model, then it's legitimate to ask how the expenses pair up with revenue. However, if the WNBA is aiming for an ersatz nonprofit model akin to a museum, symphony orchestra or ballet company, then yes, expecting rich owners to lose money year after year is acceptable. Essentially, you are replacing multiple donors with one big donor. As I've mentioned previously when we had this discussion, there were two significant ballet companies -- The Cedar Lake Ballet and Harkness Ballet -- that were each supported by a lone benefactor. The first lasted 12 years and the second 11 years. Eventually, even rich people get tired of losing money or they just get bored with the project. Or maybe they die and their heirs are not happy with perpetually losing money. I suppose if you're a league just trying to survive any way you can, this is what you do. However, there is at least some pretense by the league that they're striving for a sustainable model rather than just hoping for charity.

I've definitely been seeing an increasing number of people/places basically saying that losing money is no big deal, loads of sports leagues have done it, and it's an 'investment' rather than any kind of troubling issue. Which is fine, as long as there's someone (or a group of someones) willing to foot the bill. Otherwise at some point big strong guys start showing up to confiscate all your stuff and/or people stop getting paid. And as you say, it becomes a question of how long those people are willing to keep losing money and calling it an 'investment', and is that long enough for you to at least start breaking even?


It is not as if the owners of the WNBA teams (or most other sports teams) seem to care whether we fans know how much money they are making or losing. In fact, they do their best to keep it a secret. They blatantly fake attendance numbers and provide no real data on what their revenues or expense are. The only numbers the let the public see are how much they are required to pay players under the CBA. If they were honest with the public about their financial situation I might be more inclined to care about their profit and loss statement. Instead we have a bunch of wealthy owners who want people to take them at their word that they are losing money and somehow want fans to be concerned about it.



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PostPosted: 01/18/20 11:15 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
Richyyy wrote:
root_thing wrote:
It all depends on why the owners bought their teams, as well as what the WNBA is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to build a sustainable commercial model, then it's legitimate to ask how the expenses pair up with revenue. However, if the WNBA is aiming for an ersatz nonprofit model akin to a museum, symphony orchestra or ballet company, then yes, expecting rich owners to lose money year after year is acceptable. Essentially, you are replacing multiple donors with one big donor. As I've mentioned previously when we had this discussion, there were two significant ballet companies -- The Cedar Lake Ballet and Harkness Ballet -- that were each supported by a lone benefactor. The first lasted 12 years and the second 11 years. Eventually, even rich people get tired of losing money or they just get bored with the project. Or maybe they die and their heirs are not happy with perpetually losing money. I suppose if you're a league just trying to survive any way you can, this is what you do. However, there is at least some pretense by the league that they're striving for a sustainable model rather than just hoping for charity.

I've definitely been seeing an increasing number of people/places basically saying that losing money is no big deal, loads of sports leagues have done it, and it's an 'investment' rather than any kind of troubling issue. Which is fine, as long as there's someone (or a group of someones) willing to foot the bill. Otherwise at some point big strong guys start showing up to confiscate all your stuff and/or people stop getting paid. And as you say, it becomes a question of how long those people are willing to keep losing money and calling it an 'investment', and is that long enough for you to at least start breaking even?


It is not as if the owners of the WNBA teams (or most other sports teams) seem to care whether we fans know how much money they are making or losing. In fact, they do their best to keep it a secret. They blatantly fake attendance numbers and provide no real data on what their revenues or expense are. The only numbers the let the public see are how much they are required to pay players under the CBA. If they were honest with the public about their financial situation I might be more inclined to care about their profit and loss statement. Instead we have a bunch of wealthy owners who want people to take them at their word that they are losing money and somehow want fans to be concerned about it.


Absolutely true ... but there are people lined up to buy NBA and NFL franchises, and even MSL franchises. The line for the WNBA is non-existent.



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PostPosted: 01/18/20 12:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:

It is not as if the owners of the WNBA teams (or most other sports teams) seem to care whether we fans know how much money they are making or losing. In fact, they do their best to keep it a secret. They blatantly fake attendance numbers and provide no real data on what their revenues or expense are. The only numbers the let the public see are how much they are required to pay players under the CBA. If they were honest with the public about their financial situation I might be more inclined to care about their profit and loss statement. Instead we have a bunch of wealthy owners who want people to take them at their word that they are losing money and somehow want fans to be concerned about it.


Let's be clear, no one is feeling sorry for the owners. This discussion is about whether the league just made it more difficult for itself to at least breakeven and keep owners on board. Again, if people are buying these teams to contribute to a cause and genuinely don't mind losing money forever, then great. But I don't get the feeling that's the case. For example, Joe Tsai and his wife keep saying all the right things about supporting opportunities for women, but at the same time he's rolling the Liberty into a company that also owns the Nets, Barclay's Center, and a pro lacrosse team. Along with talk about buying more teams, they've also discussed acquiring more arenas. Tsai's company is trying to become a sports conglomerate. It sure sounds to me like they're in it for the money. More proof that they're serious is the fact that they hired a CEO for the company, but he left after less than two months. There had to be great fundamental disagreement over people's vision of the future.

Since this isn't a publicly-traded company, Tsai can do whatever he wants. Maybe he'll just let the Liberty be a money-losing pet cause nested inside an otherwise commercial venture. He can use the Liberty for tax losses. On the other hand, maybe Tsai really does expect the team to eventually pay-off, and he'll be disappointed if it doesn't. Look at Joe's predecessor with the Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov. He bought the Nets in 2011 and was out by 2019. In the beginning, Prokhorov was very confident -- some would say cocky -- and he invested a lot of money into the team. However, after the disastrous Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett deal, the Nets ended up bad anyway. On top of that, Prokhorov's company couldn't make the Barclays Center profitable. Consequently, he sold the whole mess to the next very confident billionaire who wanted to indulge himself in a similar dream. The question is whether Tsai can do any better. Will he also bolt at the first sign of trouble? Not that the Liberty will be a deciding factor in terms of whether or not Joe hangs on. However, they could be the first property jettisoned if things start to go bad.

Which is not to say any fan needs to be concerned about this stuff. It's just that some of us are interested in the business side of things. Or maybe we're just instinctively planners and worriers. Smile



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PostPosted: 01/18/20 7:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ClayK wrote:
Absolutely true ... but there are people lined up to buy NBA and NFL franchises, and even MSL franchises. The line for the WNBA is non-existent.


Which doesn't mean a damned thing. Revenue aside, those sports all have a cultural resonance that makes owning a franchise in those leagues a "status symbol." The XFL isn't going to make a dime, but there are going to be people who have an interest in owning an XFL franchise, because football is "cool." Women's sports are not "cool." If you're rich, you'd pretty much only want to own a WNBA team if you have a deep, abiding love of women's basketball, or if, for lack of a more appropriate way to put it, you want to be seen as "woke."

Super rich people, in my anecdotal observation, don't get a lot of mileage out of being thought of as "woke." But everybody wants to be thought of as "cool."



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PostPosted: 01/18/20 8:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Silky Johnson wrote:
ClayK wrote:
Absolutely true ... but there are people lined up to buy NBA and NFL franchises, and even MSL franchises. The line for the WNBA is non-existent.


Which doesn't mean a damned thing. Revenue aside, those sports all have a cultural resonance that makes owning a franchise in those leagues a "status symbol." The XFL isn't going to make a dime, but there are going to be people who have an interest in owning an XFL franchise, because football is "cool." Women's sports are not "cool." If you're rich, you'd pretty much only want to own a WNBA team if you have a deep, abiding love of women's basketball, or if, for lack of a more appropriate way to put it, you want to be seen as "woke."

Super rich people, in my anecdotal observation, don't get a lot of mileage out of being thought of as "woke." But everybody wants to be thought of as "cool."


it also brings up the expansion topic. If teams aren't being sold for $$$, why should a new ownership group fork over an expansion fee when they can wait for the next team to be put on the market for free?



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