Only A Game?

Should major league sports be exempt from anti-trust rules?

Source: ESPN

Football is a game. A rough, tough, violent game. A game where two teams pummel each other while millions of fans look on. At the end of each contest, one team wins, and one team loses. It seems silly to exempt them from anti-competitive rules. After all, competition is what the game is all about.

Only, not always. The league is not a game. It’s an organizing body that coordinates schedules, playoffs, and league rules. Each of its 32 teams is a separate business—paying taxes, managing employees. Through legislative legerdemain, some leagues are nonprofit trade associations (NFL, NHL, PGA) while others aren’t (MLB, NBA)—go figure.

It’s been possible to invest in a few publicly-traded sports franchises, like Manchester United in the UK, or Madison Square Garden, which owns the New York Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty (WNBA). But that has been a hit-or-miss affair over the years, as investors in the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Indians learned a few years ago when their teams’ stock sagged.

In the end, major-league sports are in the entertainment business. And it’s a rough, tough, business. Their leagues may need to coordinate schedules, but they should compete on the field and most everywhere else.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Phone: 603-224-1350
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By | 2017-07-17T12:23:07+00:00 January 20th, 2015|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. –
Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all!
– And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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