Phillies New Television Deal Is Worth $2.5 Billion; Team Will Not Increase Payroll


We learned last night that the Phillies and Comcast Sportsnet had agreed to a deal.  The terms were not yet known.  Now, more information is leaking out, and this deal is a massive one.   However, don't expect the Phillies to have a decided advantage over the other teams.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

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.

Phillies President cautioned, though, that the Phillies may not increase payroll from its current levels:

"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."

If "any higher than where we've been" is $170 million, shame on the Phillies.   If "where we've been" means they will be one of the top four or five, regardless how the market moves, then that may be more appropriate.

While the deal is massive, just remember that the deals are booming in EVERY market in Major League Baseball.  So, the Phillies will be to scale right where they were.   The good news is, as salaries escalate even higher, $25 million for Ryan Howard might not look so bad.  $18 million a year for Jayson Werth that we thought was so outrageous looks just about right. 

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