Leave it to a Hollywood pro to upstage all those baseball amateurs.
According to a report delivered to the House Judiciary Committee last week, Major League Baseball lost half a billion dollars this year. The biggest loss for any one team? The $69 million hemorrhaged by the Los Angeles Dodgers, run by former Warner Bros. honcho Bob Daly.
Two years ago, Daly took over day-to-day oversight of the Dodgers for Fox, which bought the team for $311 million.
The Dodgers have been long considered one of baseball’s premier franchises — a synergistic marvel, since they come complete with their own stadium, parking and concessions operations.
Better still, the games are broadcast on Fox arm Fox Sports West, nicely combining content and distribution.
But how to explain that apparent huge loss?
In the old days, before Daly and Fox, the Dodgers used to draw more than 3 million fans a year to the ballpark. Last year, they drew 3,017,502, fourth-best in the National League, and eighth-best of the 30 Major League teams.
The D.C. figures are intended as proof of baseball’s need to permanently bench two teams while steering the sport through government attempts to water down its long-held antitrust exemption.
Many pundits have raised eyebrows over the huge losses. Still, Daly and the Dodgers are adhering to the old studio dictum: Make sure you’re No. 1 — no matter what the race.