Jimmy approves. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies, Comcast Finalize $2.5 BILLION Television Contract (Update)


Update (1/3/2014):

Philly.com’s Matt Gelb is reporting that the terms of the deal is $2.5 BILLION over 25 years, with the Phillies receiving equity in Comcast SportsNet and a favorable advertising revenue split for the team. 

The average annual revenue for the team is $100 million, but like many player contracts, is back-loaded. That’s a $65 million dollar increase from the previous contract. Wow.

Remember how, two and a half months ago it was being reported that the Phillies’ new TV deal was 30 days away? Well, it finally happened.

Philly.com’s David Murphy reports that, while the terms of the contract have not been announced, Comcast and NBCUniversal have extended their current deal with the Phillies, well beyond its previous 2015 expiration date.

A CSN Philly spokesman confirmed the deal, saying:

We’re pleased to confirm that NBCUniversal and Comcast SportsNet have signed a new long-term deal with the Philadelphia Phillies that will expand Comcast SportsNet’s role as the Phillies’ primary TV partner.

Again, while no years or dollar amounts are known as of yet, the Phillies stand to more than double their annual intake of $35 million as set in their previous deal.

In terms of the new money, it’s realistic to expect it be around or above the Texas Rangers’ 2010 contract with Fox Sports Southwest. Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the largest single-team market in baseball. The largest? Philadelphia.

Texas is set to make $80 million a season on television revenue over the next 20 years.

While TV ratings did drop significantly given the on-field turmoil in 2013, when you’re talking about a deal on the scale of 20-25 years, there’s many more things to account for outside of one or two immediate bad seasons.

The fact is, the Phillies are a big-market team who, if managed well, have no reason not to receive big market ratings over the next two decades.

It’s unknown how much of an effect this contract hanging in the balance has been tied to the Phillies’ unwillingness to sell off certain players, given the team’s lackluster performance over the last two seasons (the 2013 trade deadline was an obvious, head scratching example).

The team’s conservative, payroll shrinking attitude the last two seasons has implied they aren’t going to be using that additional television income to sign every free agent under the sun; in fact, with this monkey off of their back, management might now be inclined to sell off expensive parts, acquiring prospects and financial flexibility in return.

This story will be updated when the specifics of the deal when available.

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