Soon-to-be New York Mets owner Steve Cohen revealed over the weekend that his $2.475 billion deal for the club will be closed by next week at the very latest.
When that happens, the 64-year-old will be able to start making his mark on the team, whether that comes by hitting the free-agency or trade market, beefing up the analytics department, or making changes within the front office.
According to a report by Forbes’ Mike Ozanian dating back to the end of September, it was also set to open an exclusive 30-day window where he can negotiate with the Wilpon family, to take over SNY — the television network owned by the former team owners that broadcasts a majority of Mets games during the regular season.
That might not be the case, though.
Speaking with a source close to the Cohen camp, they could not confirm that the hedge-fund billionaire would immediately jump into those negotiations for the network upon the deal’s closing, adding that he has other priorities within the organization to address rather than the television station.
Others close to the situation have shared a similar view with amNewYork Metro that the station won’t be sold in the immediate future.
The main root of unease about the billionaire taking over the network stems from the Wilpons, who still might be unwilling to part with the station because of its money-making abilities.
“It’s profitable,” a source told amNewYork Metro. “Why would someone want to sell $150 million in revenue? It’s their nest egg.”
SNY is currently being valued at around $1 billion and is one of the only profitable aspects of the Mets, which as an organization had been hemorrhaging millions of dollars per year under the Wilpons’ watch. That includes the network’s $850 million in debt, according to Ozanian, that would obviously provide sizable red flags for any potential suitors.
The rights deal between the Mets and SNY is believed to expire in 2026, which gives Cohen or any prospective buyer the option to wait out the Wilpons in pursuit of a better deal.
Regardless, it’s understandable why SNY isn’t atop Cohen’s to-do list considering all that needs to be addressed from just a baseball operations standpoint.
The Mets’ roster has a litany of holes to fill this offseason and Cohen has to solidify a front office beneath Sandy Alderson, who has been brought back to be the team’s president.
Alderson is expected to bring on a new president of baseball operations and could bring on a new general manager if Brodie Van Wagenen is shown the door.
The future of manager Luis Rojas is also in doubt, though initial forecasts tab him to come back for a second season.
Still, the general consensus, for now, is that Cohen will come away with SNY at some point, which would make this — at the end of the day — an even better deal for the successful businessman. It just might not be as immediate of a takeover as many originally expected.