SBD/9/Franchises

WILL TAYLOR BE GETTING COLD SHOULDER AT NBA OWNERS MEETING?

          Attending an NBA owners meeting in N.Y. today, T-Wolves
     Owner Glen Taylor "might find himself on the outs with a
     group in which he had been a central figure -- investors in
     small-market teams," according to Steve Aschburner of the
     Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Taylor, who signed F Kevin
     Garnett to $125M contract extension, said, "I've already had
     owners call me.  It wasn't anything negative.  More along
     the lines of, 'We understand.'  They know you're darned if
     you do and darned if you don't" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/9).  
          BREAK DOWN: In an analysis of Garnett's new contract
     and the Timberwolves' finances, the AP determined that the
     deal "is built on the rosiest of scenarios -- including a
     possible doubling of the NBA's $1.1 billion, four-year, TV
     contract with NBC and Turner Broadcasting starting next
     season."  The renewal of the team's local media deals,
     increased profits this season and higher ticket prices in
     the future also will help, and "if all goes well, the
     Timberwolves could blossom into a glamour franchise and grow
     in value to more than $300 million by the end of the
     contract."  But the analysis also shows that team losses
     could reach $56M over the life of the deal, with $103M in
     losses occurring over the last four years.  One way the team
     "might avert" those losses is with pay-per-view broadcast
     rights for future games (AP/STAR TRIBUNE, 10/9).

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