posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 09:24 PM
here is a pretty good economic breakdown of the major sports leagues in north america and how they are fareing
Dare to compare
By Paul Grant - SportingNews
The NHL owners want the cost certainty that exists in other sports; the NHLPA wants players to earn as much as they can. But, really, how does the NHL
compare with other leagues? Can it afford a protracted labor war? We crunched some serious numbers to find answers.
Players per team: 23
CBA expired: September 15, 2004
Highest-paid player: $11 million, Jaromir Jagr, Rangers
Average salary: $1.81 million
Most valuable franchise: Rangers, $282 million
Average payroll: $41.6 million
Players' share of revenue: 75 percent
League revenue: $2 billion
Average attendance: 16,533 (includes record crowd of 57,167 at outdoor game in Edmonton)
Salary cap: None
Payroll tax: None
TV deal: TV revenues from national contracts in the U.S. and Canada are shared equally; last season, that was about $4 million per team. As for the
new deal signed with NBC, "If the NHL sees a penny from NBC, it's only because the guys at NBC are good guys," a FOX executive told Alan Hahn of
TV audience: 1.1 rating on ABC, 0.47 on ESPN and 0.24 on ESPN2
Revenue sharing: 10 percent
Free-agent system: Players become restricted after their first entry-level contract, unrestricted after turning 31 if they have at least four years of
Rookie system: 2004 draft picks had a rookie cap of $1.295 million and can't sign anything longer than a three-year deal; excessive and easy-to-attain
performance bonuses have made the cap ineffective.
Is it working? We wouldn't take up this kind of valuable editorial real estate if it were. The NHL has to get its act together financially to have a
shot at fulfilling the promise it had in the early 1990s. Select owners are to blame for letting the percentage of revenue designated to salaries get
so far out of control, but the players have to realize their league can't bear salaries in the same ballpark as those of other pro athletes. To think
otherwise means pricing the fans out of the rink -- fans already are near the breaking point -- and therefore alienating the core revenue stream. Once
the snowball gets rolling down the hill, it's hard to stop.
Players per team: 25
CBA expires: December 17, 2006
Highest-paid player: $22.5 million, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
Average salary: $2.5 million
Most valuable franchise: Yankees, $832 million
Average payroll: $68.1 million
Players' share of revenue: 63 percent
MLB revenue: $4.1 billion
Average attendance: 30,401
Salary cap: None
Payroll tax: In 2004, first offenders were taxed 22.5 percent for anything above $120.5 million; second offenders paid 30 percent.
TV deal: The league has a six-year, $2.5 billion deal with FOX through 2006 and a six-year, $851 million deal with ESPN through 2005.
TV audience: 2.7 rating on FOX, 1.1 on ESPN and 0.6 on ESPN2
Revenue sharing: 34 percent of local revenue, including gate receipts, is shared equally among the teams.
Free-agent system: Players who have six or more seasons of experience become unrestricted after their contracts expire.
Rookie system: None
Is it working?
Revenue sharing has made the playing field more level, but the Yankees still are regarded as the epitome of the free-spending, darn-the-consequences
buyers gone wild who have become the bane of pro sports. Small-market franchises struggle to make ends meet and compete at a high level. The owners
want a salary cap; the players do not. (So this is where the NHL got its model.) But when you're as popular and as entrenched in American society as
baseball, you can pretty much do whatever you want. It's the free-market system in action, baby!
Players per team: 15 (12 active)
CBA expires: June 30, 2005
Highest-paid player: $29.5 million, Shaquille O'Neal, Heat
Average salary: $4.92 million
Most valuable franchise: Lakers, $447 million
Average payroll: $59 million
Players' share of revenue: 57 percent
League revenue: $3.1 billion
Average attendance: 17,050
Salary cap: A complex system of sliding caps is the base. Effectively, the soft cap for 2003-04 was $43.9 million, extending to an average of $59
million after free-agent exceptions.
Payroll tax: Teams are taxed one dollar for each dollar over $54.6 million, but only if leaguewide salaries exceed a specific percentage of revenue.
TV deal: A six-year, $4.6 billion deal with ABC, ESPN and TNT brings each team $25.5 million each season.
TV audience: 2.4 rating on ABC, 1.3 on ESPN, 0.9 on ESPN2 and 1.4 on TNT Revenue sharing: 35 percent of total revenues
Free-agent system: Players are eligible for contract extensions after three years, become restricted free agents after four (they can be unrestricted
if the team does not pick up the option) and are unrestricted after five.
Rookie system: Fixed three-year contracts for first-round picks are figured on a sliding scale based on where players were selected in the draft;
contracts have two option years, though the second rarely is used.
Is it working? Definitely. Teams have cut back on player salaries, but the cap exceptions have kept the league's middle class happy. The league is
going into the current negotiations with the upper hand. The sport is popular and thriving, which is the point. The NBA is the new NBA!
Players per team: 53 (45 active)
CBA expires: After the 2008 draft; 2007 is an uncapped season
Highest-paid player: $17.8 million, Peyton Manning, Colts
Average salary: $1.25 million
Most valuable franchise: Redskins, $1.1 billion
Average payroll: $71.8 million
Players' share of revenue: 64 percent
League revenue: $4.8 billion
Average attendance: 66,817
Salary cap: $80.58 million (64.75 percent of gross league revenues)
Salary floor: $67.3 million
Payroll tax: None
TV deal: An eight-year, $17.6 billion deal with ABC, CBS, FOX and ESPN expires after 2005. The deal gives each team $78 million (a six-year extension
was signed November 8 by FOX and CBS; FOX will pay $4.3 billion for NFC games, CBS will pay $3.7 billion for AFC games). The NFL also has $3.5 billion
satellite deal with DirecTV.
TV audience: 9.0 rating on CBS, 9.9 on FOX, 7.1 on ESPN and 11.0 on ABC.
Revenue sharing: 80 percent of all gate receipts, among other things, are spread evenly among the teams.
Free-agent system: Players who have four years of experience become unrestricted after their contracts expire. Teams can retain a key free agent by
designating him a franchise player and paying him the average of the top five salaries at his position.
Rookie system: There is no limit for top draft picks.
Is it working? Is postnasal drip common in January in Green Bay? This is the most successful league by far, with relative labor peace largely
responsible. Players cut loose because of salary cap considerations usually are near the ends of their careers anyway. Bottom line: When baseball's
labor woes soured its fans, the NFL's parity party became a sweet alternative to disillusioned seamheads and never gave them back. The NFL is the