You know that luxury tax that is supposedly hamstringing the Phillies from spending over a trillion dollars on players and other cool stuff?
Yeah, they might not need to worry about that much longer.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports are reportedly talking about a new TV deal that could be worth $6 billion to the team. This applies to the Phillies because their TV deal with Comcast SportsNet expires in 2015. Their current deal earns them a reported $24 million a season, chump change to what could ultimately be a mega landfall that would render the luxury tax nothing more than a minor nuisance.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 25, 2012
Some, including the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, believed the Phils’ future TV deal with Comcast could approach $5 billion. However, if the ratings for Phillies broadcasts really are higher than the Dodgers’, the Phillies could argue they should have a deal that would rival that of L.A.’s at around $6-7 billion.
Yes, that’s BILLION with a B.
The Phils already have a payroll of around $174 million. And with a $6 billion TV deal in their pocket, there would be no contract that would be too expensive. There would be no free agent that is too pricey.
Money would simply never be an option again for this franchise.
Of course, these TV mega-deals are a huge disadvantage for the teams that don’t have one. Kansas City is already facing a world in which the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers have TV contracts that dwarf what a market like Kansas City can ever hope to have. Even a small market team like the Cincinnati Reds have a TV deal that is double what the Royals have, which enabled the Reds to sign Joey Votto to a long-term deal.
It’s all part of baseball’s new economic structure, and it’s a game-changer. Sure, teams will still be able to compete if they draft smartly and make intelligent decisions on free agents. But any small market team without a big local cable TV contract will never be able to sign their homegrown stars long term.
It’s bad for baseball. It’s that simple.
Fortunately for the Phillies, they’re no longer a small market. They are one of the big boys and in a couple years will become even more gigantic.
The Phils are going to one of those big spending teams Philadelphians used to hate.
The Phils are going to be their very own evil empire.
And everyone can thank the Los Angeles Dodgers for helping to pave the way.