Why the Triangle’s Top-25 Media Market will be a huge selling point for bringing MLB

The Raleigh-Durham media market comes in at #23 in the latest Neilsson rankings. That’s ahead of SEVEN current MLB Markets. Here is why that’s such a big deal…

As it stands currently, Raleigh/Durham’s TV market is already larger than the markets of St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati, all of which are markets that support MLB teams.

This is an important metric, especially for Major League Baseball clubs, because local media revenue is responsible for 23% of overall revenue (the most, by far, of any of the 4 major US sports).

You can’t talk MLB media market without talking RSNs.

Historically, the way teams have created this local media revenue is by signing on w/ Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), however, with the decline of cable bundling & the rise in streaming, RSNs have fallen on some tough times.

The current trend is ownership groups who own multiple teams in a region, outright buying the RSNs. Thus, creating the content & owning the distribution. This is what is happening in DC, where Ted Leonsis (owner of Caps/Wizards/Mystics) is now in talks to buy the Nationals.

The current situation is extremely messy.

MLB doesn’t want to be in charge of full streaming rights for every team, so they need a layer between. Right now it’s still the RSNs, but they are failing, and complex deals and regional rights are making it hard to untangle the mess.

Enter an MLB team in Raleigh.

A Raleigh-based team would have the immediate advantage of launching with a clean slate and not being tied to long-term detrimental RSN partnerships (maximizing flexibility & value). This is because no current team has full rights to the region.


Note that Charlotte fits into the Brave’s extended territory, & Nashville likely does as well. Those are the two major east coast competitors for MLB expansion. Both would likely face hurdles when trying to carve out territorial media rights, while Raleigh/Triangle would not.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve given you the deep dives on why, despite being left off of national lists, the Triangle market could quickly jump to ‘front runner’ status for expansion. And we’re just getting started. Here’s what we’ve covered …