The Philadelphia Phillies' new television deal with Comcast SportsNet is worth more than $2.5 billion over the next 25 years, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The $2.5 billion figure will be even higher when factoring in an equity stake in the network and the team's share of the advertising revenue, reports Gelb.
The Phillies' old deal, which was set to expire in 2015, is believed to have paid the club around $35 million, so the $100 million annual value of this new pact represents a hefty raise in revenue. It also stands as one of the highest TV payouts in the majors; the Dodgers deal gives them around $250 million per year, and the Angels receive approximately $150 million annually from Fox Sports West.
The Yankees have a TV deal which will pay them around $100 million in 2014, but that figure will increase every year over the life of the 30-year contract. The Rangers and Astros clock in just behind Philly with annual earnings of around $80 million. Gelb notes that the revenue received by the Phillies will not be split up evenly over the 25 years; the team will receive less than $100 million in 2014, but the annual payout will increase over time.
Despite this new financial windfall, team president David Montgomery stated that Philadelphia's payroll will probably not be affected (via Gelb):
"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...I assume we will continue to be in the top four or five in the game (in payroll)."
The Phillies had the third-highest payroll in 2013, in the neighborhood of $160-170 million. Their only major addition this winter has been Marlon Byrd, who signed a two-year, $16 million contract in November; the team also re-signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal. On the other hand, the $20 million salary of Roy Halladay is off the books thanks to the expiration of his contract (and his subsequent retirement), as is the $6 million commitment they made to Michael Young last year after acquiring him from the Rangers (Texas paid the remaining $10 million of his salary, and Young was later dealt to the Dodgers). In an attempt to further cut costs, general manager Ruben Amaro has made it clear that closer Jonathan Papelbon (and his $13 million salary) are available via trade.