Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



In response to a growing disparity amongst the league's best and worst teams, fans, reporters, and even some players have proposed various plans designed to share revenues amongst owners and level the economic playing field. The smaller market teams claim they cannot compete because they have less revenue than the bigger teams, which translates to an inability to pay for high priced players and state-of-the-art facilities. In response to this perceived problem, owners have proposed and implemented some limited forms of revenue sharing and a competitive balance tax...

Part II of this Note examines the history of professional baseball's exemption from traditional antitrust regulations and the struggle between the players and owners to reach labor agreements that encourage competition among teams and fairly compensates players. It details the history of the various CBAs between players and owners and considers what remedy owners opposed to sharing revenue might have in federal court against revenue sharing plans implemented through a CBA.

Part III analyzes the current controversy over the level of competition in MLB. It criticizes the owners' solutions and examines the difficulties these solutions faced.

Finally, Part IV proposes that MLB should encourage parity in the traditional way: the free market. The league should create incentives to return ownership of every team's minor league teams to the owners of the big club. In the alternative, if MLB implements another revenue sharing plan, free of antitrust concerns, shared funds should match the degree of investment an owner is willing to make into a team. Finally, MLB should expand the postseason, allowing six teams from each league to reach the playoffs and adding a first round bye for the top two teams from each league.