Millionaires vs. Billionaires

Andrew Zimbalist talks about cable TV and baseball

"The Yankees signed at the end of 1988 a twelve-year deal for four hundred and ninety-three million dollars. And they got a fifty million dollar signing bonus. That that kind of money for local television deals in professional sports was completely unheard of. That's the coming of age of the regional, the local regional sports channel. And the coming to full fruition of the fact that America had now accepted cable television. It was in practically all of the houses and cable had the advantage of being able to not only sell advertising but also to sell subscriptions for the channels. The Yankees first realized it. Other big market teams started to realize it. And that created a revenue gap that didn't exist before in baseball."