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).