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Leadoff: Can Braves get out of their TV deal?

Good morning. This is Leadoff, today’s early buzz in Atlanta sports.

At an investment conference in New York this week, an executive with Braves owner Liberty Media was asked a question many of the team’s fans often raise: Could the Braves get out of their below-market-value local-TV deal early?

“No triggers to exit, per se,” Liberty Media Chief Financial Officer Mark Carleton replied.

He said the Braves have “some accelerators and a couple of contractual provisions a few years out” that affect about 50 games. But “in general we have a contract until 2027” with Fox Sports, he said.

“We believe there’s opportunity in TV rights,” he said. “It’s a little bit further off than we would like.”

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But Carleton expressed optimism about many aspects of the baseball business, including MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement, its new uniform deal with Under Armour and the Braves’ new stadium.

“The business of baseball is good,” he said.

Noting that he was “heavily involved” in Liberty’s purchase of the Braves a decade ago, Carleton said: “This team has much more upside and value potential than we thought it did when we did that deal.”

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Braves outfielder Matt Kemp has listed his California “dream house” for sale for $11.5 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

The article describes the house as five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, 15,884 square feet, on almost four acres of land in the San Diego suburb of Poway.

Matt Kemp's 15,884-square-foot mansion in Poway, Calif., is listed for $11.5 million. (Antis Photography)

See a photo gallery of the home here

The Journal notes that Kemp bought the mansion in 2013 and did extensive renovations, including adding “a movie-theater style concessions stand near the home theater and a barbershop room.”

Kemp was acquired by the Braves from the San Diego Padres on July 30.

His contract, originally signed with the Dodgers, calls for him to be paid $21.5 million each of the next three seasons. The Padres are reimbursing the Braves for about $3.5 million per season, in addition to taking Hector Olivera’s contract off their hands in the deal.

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Usually, players don’t get honored at the College Football Hall of Fame until long after their playing days are over. But tonight, current players will be in the spotlight at college football’s shrine in downtown Atlanta.

Two dozen of this season’s star players from across the country, including all five Heisman Trophy finalists, will be in attendance at the 26th annual “College Football Awards” show, a two-hour event that will air live on ESPN from the Hall of Fame. The winners of nine awards will be presented during the show.

See full story here.

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Further reading:

Why is the Mercedes-Benz Stadium halo board in South Dakota?

What gifts will the Georgia Tech and Georgia players get from bowls?

What does baseball’s new labor deal mean for Braves?

How many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of corporate sponsorships have Falcons sold in new stadium?

Leadoff appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

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