Thursday, July 10, 2008

Plan D - Part One

Tapping out the market

Dan Snyder already had a money printing press with the Washington Redskins, until very recently* the team was the most valuable franchise in US sports. But that was not enough, Dan has long wanted to parlay the Redskins popularity in the Washington DC area into more money, more influence, more exposure. Today The Curly R begins a four part series on Dan Snyder's attempts to create a media empire based on broadcasting Redskins games.

Part One: Out of Suitors
Part Two: Overestimating
Part Three: Underwhelming
Part Four: If You Can't Beat Em, Buy Em


Plan A: Get someone to pony up 10 million dollars a year to broadcast Redskins games on local radio in the Washington DC area! Muwahahaha!

In 1991 after 41 years as the Redskins flagship station, WMAL 630 AM gave up rights to the Redskins game broadcasts, then-living owner Jack Kent Cooke's asking price for renewal having gone up too high for the station to break even on the venture.

For three seasons after that, 1992, 1993 and 1994, the Redskins broadcast games on then-new all sports station WTEM 570 AM, back then it was known as The Team, was led by future, now ex Red Zebra executive Bennett Zier and they were willing to spend anything they had to get the Redskins and instant legitimacy in the DC area. After three years of getting soaked by the team, (the rumored value of the Redskins deal with WTEM was 8.4 million dollars for three year, also read a different account that put it at 3.1 million dollars a year, on which the station lost about 700 thousand dollars in the last year**) The Team gave up as well (op. cit.).

Before the 1995 season team president John Kent Cooke negotiated a three year deal with WJFK 106.7 FM to host the Redskins broadcasts, worth a rumored 4 million dollars a year**. The deal was extended by two years and then under Dan Snyder another deal before the 2001 season was signed, this one for five years and 50 million dollars (op. cit.). In December 2005, just as the Redskins were gearing up for a playoff trip to Seattle, talks between the team and WJFK broke down (ibid.) and then WJFK announced it would not be renewing its deal at no 10 million dollars per season.

Dan Snyder was going to have to find another chump, foiled again.

Dan Snyder's Plan D continues tomorrow with part two, Overestimating.

* In 2000, Dan Snyder's first full year as owner of the Redskins, the team displaced the Dallas Cowboys as the most valuable NFL franchise, a position the Redskins held until 2007, the most recent survey. The Cowboys have a new stadium opening in the 2008 season, propelling the Cowboys up 28 percent in value. As of next season, Dan Snyder will no longer have the most valuable team nor the largest stadium, lost to the rival Cowboys. How do you think that will make Dan feel? Results from 2000 (reg. req'd), 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007.

** When will news organizations wise up and free their archives? The links to the rumored yearly amount of WTEM's expiring deal are here and here, with a reference to the amount of WJFK's first deal with the Redskins on that same page. FREE THE ARCHIVES!!!

Image from here.