Major League Baseball's (MLB) Club Trust Securitization has been rated 'A-' by Fitch Ratings.
The deal's capital structure includes $70 million series 5 term notes (due 2019), $83.1 million series 6 term notes (due 2021) and $46.9 million series 7 term notes (due 2021).
Fitch said it based its ratings on structural aspects of the transaction that insulate noteholders from team level performance and the strong league economics and fiscal governance including financial covenants, league-level borrowing limits, reserve levels and mandatory pay down mechanisms. This is in the event national broadcast contracts are renewed at lower rates.
"MLB's performance over the last few years during the U.S.'s uncertain economic conditions is a testament to the expected stability and demand for professional baseball in the U.S. and internationally," Fitch said in its report.
MLB currently has 30 teams in major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada, of which 21 participate in the MLB Club Trust Securitization.
MLB's extensive international marketing efforts, the success of MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 2009 World Baseball Classic are viewed favorably as additional future potential for the sport.