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The Phillies ink a huge new TV deal

Jan 3, 2014, 8:29 AM EDT

phillies logo

UPDATE: Multiple outlets are reporting that the Phillies TV deal is $2.5 billion over 20 years. Or $100 million a year.  That’s a nice bit of scratch.

8:29 AM: The Phillies may not know exactly how to rebuild for the future, but they won’t be lacking for money to do it. The Phillies and Comcast/NBC Universal have agreed to a massive new broadcast deal. Here’s the statement from Comcast SportsNet (Comcast owns NBC Universal and, by extension, this blog):

“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. Although the terms of the comprehensive deal are confidential, details surrounding the 2014 schedule of games will be provided in the coming months.”

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the deal is for at least 20 years. Given the price other teams’ TV rights have gone for, it’s not a stretch to guess that the deal would be in the billions.

The current TV deal was set to expire following the 2015 season.

  1. stex52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Hope it works out for them better than the Comcast deal did in Houston. I even read that cable providers in Los Angeles are pushing back on the fees for the Dodger broadcast deal. I think these enormous contracts are getting ahead of the markets and we are going to see more failures like the looming CSN bankruptcy in Houston.

    • hansob - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      I get the sentiment, but in the long view, I hope it doesn’t work out. Sports programming is becoming way too expensive, so if it failing means that people woke up and took their cable bill off autopay because of continued increases due to sports and RSN’s, then I’d prefer it fail, and we come up with a more sustainable model.

      • mc1439 - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        In the comments on the Astros site I’ve always said I’d shell out like 8-12 bucks a month if I could stream it through my xbox. If you have your own network how hard is it to make an app to watch thru phones and gaming platforms and such. The 8 to 12 bucks is just an arbitrary number and I bet a lot of fans would pay for this who can’t get cable.

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        I agree completely with hansob. The “hope it works out better” was ironic. This stuff is getting too expensive.

        As to the $8-12/month for a stream, we would have Astros cable in Houston if the providers would go for that. I think it will settle closer to $2-3/mo. People don’t want to pay that much on top of all the other cable fees.

  2. chacochicken - Jan 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    The last nail in the coffin for football?

    • anxovies - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      Definitely a step back for the NFL. The money is running to baseball. In ten years the NFL will be a minor sport played by grim-faced men in leather helmets that can be viewed only on black and white TVs.

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Boy, I used to think it was fun to troll Phillies. But these football types never catch on.

        It’s the gift that keeps giving.

    • greymares - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      It’s nice to see you live by the adage there’s no need being stupid if you don’t show it., once in a while.

      • paperlions - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        Like looking in a mirror, ain’t it.

        How obvious does obvious sarcasm have to be to be obvious?

    • eatitfanboy - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      It is nice to see baseball catching up to football in terms of the fact that you no longer need to be any good to make lots of money.

    • cur68 - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      At least another nail. The last one will be when we do an ink comparison on the two types of balls. Footballs have way more ink on them from logos and lines. Its gauche. The cleaner, neater baseball has much better eye-appeal. And that oblate shape of the football? What’s up with that? Ugly thing, your basic football. Bounces funny, flies through the air funny. Totally goofy.

      (Sarchasm: the amount of distance by which obvious sarcasm is missed)

  3. uyf1950 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Add another team to the list of MLB teams that have benefited or will benefit from a huge TV deal. Obviously the MLBPA must love all this new money flowing into baseball that’s what is making so many of these player contracts possible.

    It will be interesting to see when the current CBA expires after the 2016 season how the parties handle the Luxury Tax Threshold number with more and more teams knocking on it’s door.

  4. mauijim3 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    A real story here would be Comcast allowing DirecTV to show Phillies games in the PHL market.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      They will never “allow” it. They’ve spent many many millions of dollars making sure congress grants them their exemption from the law. Fortunately, FiOS works around it. Unfortunately, FiOS doesn’t cover the whole area.

      CSN Philly is a great product. It’s the reason most guys have Comcast over DirecTV or Dish. If they ever had to offer the network to its competitors, even at a high per user rate, it would crush Comcast Cable in the area.

      So, they hold on to it as tight as they can.

      • ml3939 - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Unfortunately I think they are protected by the law as it states they only have to offer the channel to its competitors by the same means which they deliver it. Since CSN is delivered to homes in the area via landline. and FIOS is also delivered by landline, Comcast has to give FIOS access to the channel. Since DirecTV, etc is delivered to homes via satellite, they do not have to offer the channel to those companies.

        It is a joke of a law at this point and probably would not fly if Comcast was not based in Philly.

    • jimw81 - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      might happen with fcc’s lastest ruling of getting rid of the tv sports blackouts.

    • jrbdmb - Jan 6, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      As of now, per new FAA rules Comcast is no longer allowed to just withhold Sportsnet/Philly from DirecTV and Dish Network. Unfortunately Comcast just throws up ridiculous prices for the channel that the satellite companies cannot or will not pay.

  5. mclovinhockey - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    MLB needs a cap

    • ptfu - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      But each team already outfits its players in its own logo cap. It drives brand recognition and merchandise sales. I don’t think a generic MLB cap would be very popular.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      Please tell us, sexy cheeseburger, why MLB needs a cap? Why should we want to place more money in the pockets of the owners?

  6. phillyphannnn83 - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    RAJ must go, hes been riding on Pat Gillick’s coattails long enough.

  7. banksatdixie - Jan 3, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Ruby Tuesday is lining up all the best vets for extensions with this influx of new cash.

  8. Ben - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I keep blathering on about baseball being in a bubble but I guess at this point it might be the cable companies that end up on the hook when ad revenue collapses. If we’re actually in a bubble–if all 30 teams sign a new deal, we’re good?

    • stex52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Like I said, it happened in Houston. And that’s a medium-large market. The trend is away from cable. I think a lot of these deals will go south.

  9. ryanrockzzz - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Ah, so this is why they’ve spent so much money this offseason to improve the team.

  10. aphillieated - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Cool. Now fire Ruin Tomorrow, Jr.

  11. Uncle Charlie - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Just in the nick of time as the aged Phillies return to the losing ways of yore.

  12. greymares - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    25 years 7 BILLION

  13. jimw81 - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    real objection to this deal should be that it moves all sunday afternoon and select number of games on local tv to cable.

  14. righthandofjustice - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    ROFL @ “huge” TV deal.

    Rest assured, $2.5 billion is substantial but comparing to the $7 billion deal the Dodgers got and the expected $4 billion their fans and affiliates predicted the deal is underwhelming.

    Even Boras predicted the Phillies TV deal would be $4-5 billion based given what the Dodgers got:

    • stex52 - Jan 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      But I hear the Dodgers’ deal is struggling a bit. True?

      • righthandofjustice - Jan 3, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        $7 billion for the Dodger TV deal was an overpayment. It would probably be quite a bit less if the contract was signed after John Mcclain introduced the Television Freedom Act.

        Anyway, even the Padres and the Astros are getting $75 million a year. That doesn’t make the $100 million a year the Phillies are going to get merely exciting.

    • jrbdmb - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Well, Philly is a smaller market than L.A., the Dodgers have a bit more history and a better brand, and Time Warner was historically stupid paying this much and expecting subs to pay $8/mo. for a new channel with one team.

  15. ndrick731 - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Just in time for Ruben to pick up another half dozen 38 year olds who haven’t been any good for 10 years if they ever any good. Have to get rid if this guy ASAP.

  16. sclairebear - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Tell us again Peter Angelos & MASN how $34M is a fair offer for the Nationals’ TV rights!

  17. eagles512 - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Does this mean they can find a real play by play guy now? McCarthy is the worst in all of baseball and it’s not close.

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