“We are approaching them with an appropriate caution and appropriate wide-eyed certainty and understanding that we formed a lot of these things with Fox a long time ago,” Maffei said. “We have a lot of history with them and understand those businesses well.”
Asked if Liberty Media and the Braves would be interested in acquiring Fox Sports South/Southeast in a stand-alone deal separate from the other Fox RSNs that are scattered across the country, Maffei seemed doubtful.
“While you can’t say for sure, the power comes from having multiple (networks) and giving you leverage,” he said. “As attractive as the Fox South region is – and it may be the most attractive region; it’s among the largest (and) with relatively low rights (fees) – in general having one region gives you less leverage and is a less appealing opportunity. You don’t want to say definitively no to anything, but in principle more is better.”
Major League Baseball also is among the potential bidders for the Fox regional sports networks, 14 of which carry MLB teams’ games. So there could be a scenario where the Braves owner and MLB are competing bidders.
“I can see why MLB would find it attractive to try and re-consolidate those rights to give them more flexibility into the future,” Maffei said.
Braves, Hawks and Atlanta United games are televised on Fox Sports South/Southeast.
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> The Braves' revenue increased to $442 million in 2018 – up 14.5 percent from $386 million in 2017, the team's first season at SunTrust Park, and up a whopping 69 percent from $262 million in 2016, the final season at Turner Field. Operating profit before depreciation and amortization soared, too. See full report here.
> The release of the aforementioned financial results came after an offseason in which the Braves' payroll went down -- and on the same day that the NL East rival Phillies agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with Bryce Harper, as Michael Cunningham notes.
> Former UGA running back Elijah Holyfield worked with star sprinter Christian Coleman to prepare for the NFL scouting combine, D. Orlando Ledbetter reports from Indianapolis.