HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 30: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals hits an RBI single against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
As Major League Baseball gets prepared to usher in a new decade, it has achieved another milestone before the calendar flips to 2020.
According to a report by Forbes, the MLB grossed a record $10.7 billion in revenue for the 2019 season, an increase from the $10.3 billion the prior year.
The MLB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The increase in revenue isn’t a surprise as the MLB continues to benefit from media rights deals with ESPN, Turner Sports, and FOX, which in 2018 agreed to an extension valued at $5.1 billion and runs through the 2028 season.
Last season, the MLB grossed roughly $1.5 billion when combining the annual payments from all three networks. Deals with ESPN and Turner are set to expire in 2021.
In his state of the league interview, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told CNBC the league is open to exploring even more revenue by adding another media partner.
“It depends on how the negotiations unfold,” he said. “If we ended up with the three we have right now; we will be perfectly happy with that. But I’m open to other possibilities.”
Describing the league as “thriving,” Manfred also attributed competitive balance as one of the main reasons the MLB has grown over the last few years. In 2017, the league surpassed $10 billion in revenue for the first time.
“The combination of competitiveness on the field and compelling athletes usually put the sport in a pretty good spot,” Manfred told CNBC. “And our revenues reflect that.”
The league also said it reached a new five-year labor agreement with the Major League Baseball Umpires Association. The pact between the two parties now runs through 2024. The ratification of the new deal is expected next month.