Rogers May Dump Toronto Blue Jays

Globe and Mail

Rogers Communications has been the sole owner of the Blue Jays since 2004.

Rogers chief financial officer Tony Staffieri said at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in NY no deal is imminent but provided a level of specificity regarding Blue Jays-related plans that hadn't emerged previously.

But Staffieri made it clear that there is no imminent deal to sell the team.

Rogers initially purchased the Toronto Blue Jays and their then-named venue, the SkyDome, twelve years ago with the intent of implementing the team into their content strategy.

The Blue Jays were founded in 1977 and became back-to-back World Series champions in 1992 and 1993.

The company, which has about $13 billion in outstanding debt, now figures it could make more sense to sell the team and license broadcast rights from a new owner, Rogers CFO Tony Staffieri told a UBS investor conference in NY on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays begin spring training on February 23 against the Philadelphia Phillies and will open the 2018 regular season against the New York Yankees on March 29. The Blue Jays, Canada's only Major League Baseball franchise, could be up for sale.

Staffieri said Rogers is looking to "surface value" from the Blue Jays, a "very valuable asset for us that we don't get full credit for".

Staffieri said Rogers still wants rights to sports programming but does not need to own a team to have that, pointing to the company's 12-year deal with the National Hockey League.

Rogers is also looking to sell its stake in Montreal-based Cogeco, where it owns a stake in the cable and media divisions, worth about $2.98 per share or $1.53 billion, according to estimates from Canaccord analyst, Aravinda Galappatthige.

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