Sports Outside the Beltway

Atlanta Braves Sold to Liberty Media

The Braves have reportedly been sold to Liberty Media.

Time Warner Inc. finalized an agreement Monday to sell the Atlanta Braves to Liberty Media Corp. after more than a year of negotiations.

The deal, which values the team at $450 million, was submitted to Major League Baseball for its approval process, two people familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made and publicly traded companies were involved.

The parties hope baseball will approve the sale in time for the team to be transferred by Opening Day, the person said. Under the agreement, Terry McGuirk will remain in charge of the team after the sale. General manager John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox also are expected to remain on, the person said.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the finalization on its Web site, said Time Warner will transfer the Braves, a group of craft magazines and $1 billion in cash to Liberty in exchange for about 60 million shares of Time Warner. Based on the closing price of Time Warner’s stock Monday, the market value of those shares would be about $1.27 billion.

I’m not sure what implications, if any, this will have for Braves radio and television appearances. It looks like same old, same old in terms of baseball operations, though.

That’s a good thing from a personnel and management side, although disappointing from the standpoint of revenue. Given that MLB doesn’t have a salary cap, I’d much prefer to have the team owned by a Ted Turner type willing to pour money into winning rather than another bottom line corporation which just sees baseball as an entertainment asset.

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I know the feeling on ownership, I was very happy when Disney sold the Angels to Artie. Well except that you can’t get cheap tickets anytime to the game now.

Posted by Mister Biggs | February 13, 2007 | 11:15 am | Permalink


I wouldn’t worry about that. It sounds like Liberty will only be holding onto the Braves for a year or two. After that time, they’ll sell again, hopefully to an individual like Ted Turner (Mark Cuban, maybe?).

Posted by David Harris | February 13, 2007 | 04:40 pm | Permalink

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