There was a report in the San Francisco Chronicle that the Oakland Athletics franchise could lose a piece of a multi-million dollar revenue sharing check that the Major League Baseball office sends to owner Lew Wolff annually as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.
The story has all the qualifiers that include A’s officials are unavailable for comment or there is a source contending this could or might not happen but the A’s and Miami Marlins are on notice that something might be up with revenue sharing. Major League Baseball created the Oakland problem when the American League approved the transfer of Charley Finley’s Kansas City A’s to the Bay Area and allowed Finley to share the market with San Francisco Giants ownership in the fall of 1967.
Major League Baseball and the San Francisco Giants franchise accelerated the problem by blocking A’s ownerships attempts to move into wealthier San Jose.
The Giants ownership claims territorial rights to San Jose. Major League Baseball has backed the Giants and a court has reaffirmed that Major League Baseball can hand out territorial rights and has blocked San Jose’s efforts to attract Wolff.
Apparently at some point, a previous A’s ownership gave up the San Jose territory but to make things very clouded, San Francisco and Oakland share the market. The two teams’ games are on various forms of the Comcast-NBC Universal owned sports channels in the Bay Area and Northern California. The radio games are on Bay Area stations, the two teams dip into the same corporate market.
Major League Baseball allows the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles markets to be dual markets with no restrictions as the Yankees-Mets, Cubs-White Sox, Dodgers-Angels could conceivably move teams within a territory. A’s ownership is stuck in Oakland which makes no sense in that Oakland is much closer to the rival Giants by car and mass transit than San Jose.