SBD/23/Sports Media

PHILLIES WELCOME COMCAST INTO THEIR BROADCASTING FAMILY

          The Phillies restructured their broadcasting package,
     reducing its TV carriers from three to two, and adding a
     pre- and post-game show to its radio network.  WPHL-TV, a WB
     affil, retains its Phillies rights, signing a one-year deal
     to broadcast 70 games.  Comcast SportsNet is the new cable
     carrier for the team, and will carry 77 games.  WPHT-AM, the
     flagship for the 18 Phillies Radio Network affils, will
     broadcast all 162 regular-season games, adding a 30-minute
     pre-game show.  All regular-season games will also be
     broadcast at www.phillies.com (Phillies). 
          COVERAGE: In Philadelphia, Jim Salisbury writes that 15
     Phillies games will not be televised and of those 15, three
     will be on Fox and two will be on TBS, leaving 10 games
     unavailable to local fans, unless ESPN decides to take any. 
     Phillies VP/Marketing Dennis Mannion said that conflicts
     with the Flyers and 76ers, and contractual stipulations,
     "made it impossible to televise every game." Salisbury adds
     that in the new deals, the Phillies "have spurned
     traditional rights fees in exchange for the right to control
     all advertising," which is a "more risky proposition," but
     "keeps the door open for a bigger pot of gold if the Phils
     suddenly become a hot commodity."  Team President David
     Montgomery: "We can control our own destiny.  But it puts
     the pressure on us to have a good sales year."  The Phillies
     will get "approximately" $7-8M from Comcast, but "insiders"
     say that it is "not a rights fee, per se, and it doesn't
     affect the control of advertising" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 1/23).

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