Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Phillies TV deal worth more than $2.5 billion

The Phillies and Comcast SportsNet agreed to a massive 25-year contract Thursday worth more than $2.5 billion that will provide Comcast SportsNet with invaluable live summer programming and the Phillies with another substantial revenue source.

Phillies TV deal worth more than $2.5 billion

Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler in the Phillies´ broadcast booth at Citizens Bank Park. (Jarid Barringer/Staff file photo)
Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler in the Phillies' broadcast booth at Citizens Bank Park. (Jarid Barringer/Staff file photo)

The Phillies were never interested in a bidding war for the rights to televise their games. They negotiated for the last year with Comcast SportsNet, a network with which they once partnered before it even broadcasted. The way Phillies president David Montgomery saw things, two powerful Philadelphia corporations could find a common ground that benefitted both.

"We're pleased," Montgomery said Friday. "And I think Comcast is pleased."

The two sides, according to two sources, agreed to a massive 25-year contract Thursday worth more than $2.5 billion that will provide Comcast SportsNet with invaluable live summer programming and the Phillies with another substantial revenue source.

The Phillies will acquire an equity stake in Comcast SportsNet, one of the nation's most successful regional sports networks, Montgomery said. The advertising revenue, which was split favorably for the Phillies, will be adjusted in exchange for a higher rights-fee payment. The major financial components of the new deal will activate in 2016, Montgomery said.

The average annual rights fee over the duration of the contract is $100 million, but the annual fee will begin at a smaller number and grow each year, according to a source.

The Phillies ended last season with a 73-89 record and Major League Baseball's fourth-highest payroll. Montgomery said he expects his club to maintain that level of spending, although there will be no immediate uptick.

"I don't see us going any higher than where we've been," Montgomery said. "For us, the secret is to spend it well, not necessarily tied to how much. Since we've moved in here, we have been able to be a club that is substantial in its payroll. I assume we will continue to be in the top four or five in the game. Hopefully we'll make some good decisions and people will see an improved club in 2014. That's what we believe."

The immediate change is how the games are distributed. Comcast SportsNet was limited to a maximum of 120 Phillies games in the past with some 40 shown on PHL17. Beginning in 2014, Comcast SportsNet will have no cap but is expected to choose 10-15 games to appear on NBC10, its sister station.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

More coverage
 
VOTE: Who stays, who goes at trade deadline
 
Box score: Phillies 6, Mets 0
 
WATCH: Phillies trade deadline preview
 
POLL: Which Phillies is most likely to make the HOF someday?
 
Halladay not eligible for Phillies Wall of Fame?
 
Phillies Stay or Go: Who should be dealt at the deadline?
 
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates
 
Follow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!
 
WATCH: Latest Phillies highlights
Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected