BOSTON - MAY 28: Team owner Wyc Grousbeck of the Boston Celtics celebrates with the Eastern Conference trophy after the Celtics won 96-84 against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 28, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Celtics are reportedly on the verge to re-up with CSNNE for 20 years, ...so get used to Dickerson, Tanguay and Foxwoods commercials for the foreseeable future.
The proposed deal, which could be finalized in the next few weeks, would extend the Celtics’ media deal to 2038 from the current agreement that runs through 2017. In addition, the team would take up to a 20 percent equity stake in the regional sports network (RSN) and receive a healthy increase in its annual rights fee. The Celtics currently get between $15 million and $20 million annually, which is considered below market for such a strong franchise.
Exactly how much is the deal for? The article doesn't spell it out directly, but consider the Lakers deal to be a benchmark.
The two sides first started talking about a long-term deal a year ago. Sources said that talks heated up just before the Los Angeles Lakers blockbuster 25-year RSN deal with Time Warner Cable was announced in February. That deal averages $200 million per year. Serious negotiations between the Celtics and Comcast then ensued this spring under the shadow of the league's labor uncertainty.
If it is in that ballpark (and it probably should be) that's a lot of green for the boys in green.
An interesting (to me at least) detail is that the team will get a lucrative "signing bonus" when the deal becomes official. A couple of questions arise. A) Does that money play into Wyc's willingness to punt the season because the immediate costs will be covered? B) Will that money be considered part of the BRI and/or whatever measure the new CBA uses to divvy up any revenue sharing dollars among the teams? Only a lawyer with access to the documents and a crystal ball could tell you for sure, but it is food for thought.
Regardless, it seems that the ownership group will indeed profit greatly from their investment in the team without even needing to sell the franchise. Yes, they have the luxury of owning a team in one of the biggest markets in the U.S. and they have a storied franchise with a rabid fanbase that sticks with the team even during the lowest of times. But don't doubt for a moment that the team's success over the last few years has put this team in a fantastic position to cash in.
In truth, the team is in the catbird seat at the moment with their TV deal about to make them flush with cash and the expiring salaries about to make them players in the new CBA. The ownership team has backed up their claims to spend on the team for a winner and with this new deal in place they'll have every resource available to do so once again after the Big 3 saunters off into the sunset. And if they don't, ...well, they'll have no excuses and we will absolutely let them hear about it.