First, here’s the key basic details from Chad Finn’s Boston Globe column yesterday:
Sports Business Daily reported yesterday that the Celtics are close to completing a media rights package with Comcast SportsNet New England that will extend the relationship with the regional sports network until 2038, 20 years beyond the end of the current agreement.
The Celtics also will become the latest professional sports team to branch into media ownership, according to the report, with the deal including an equity stake in the network that could be as high as 20 percent. The annual rights fee is also expected to grow significantly from its current estimated $15 million-$20 million.
Once the deal is agreed upon, it must be formally approved by the NBA.
Sports Business Daily reported that the deal had been in the works for more than a year but began to pick up steam in February, around the time the Lakers agreed to 25-year regional sports network deal with Time Warner that averages $200 million a year.
Here’s an update on that potential equity state in the network by the C’s from Forbes:
Besides a big increase in its annual rights fee the Celtics would get up to a 20% equity stake in the regional sports network. The increase in the rights fee, which is expected to be about $20 million a season, will be included in the league’s Basketball Related Income and therefore part of the salary cap. But none of the income the Celtics owners will get from their equity stake in the profitable RSN will be included in BRI and, by extension, player salaries.
The new deal will enrich its owners more than a comparable deal comprised entirely of a rights fee.
However you slice it, this should be a move that makes all parties involved happy, as CSNNE has done a tremendous job with it’s local coverage over the past 20+ years and that’s where they will be for another 20 more.
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