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Sacramento Kings and Comcast negotiate new, lucrative 20 year deal

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The Kings are locking in a new local television deal that could prove to be a big financial windfall for the small market team.

Joe Raedle

The Kings today announced that they have signed a 20 year media rights extension with Comcast SportsNet California.  Per Sports Business Daily (subscription required), the deal is set to be worth around $690 to $700 million, or around an average of $35 million a year.  This deal has essentially tripled the Kings' local television revenue, as their previous deal was worth around $11 million a year according to Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.

From the Sports Business Daily:

...NBC Sports Group, which operates CSN California, will pay the team between $25 million and $26 million next year, with close to a standard 4 percent increase kicking in annually.

If the contract were to run the entire 20 years, NBC Sports Group would be paying the Kings more than $50 million in rights fees in the deal's final year.

Like most local NBA media deals, the agreement includes a "reset," which would adjust the fee to match market rates. It's not clear when that reset kicks in, but similar deals have reset provisions that take effect at the 10-year mark of the deal, if not sooner.

Kings fans can also expect a lot more coverage from Comcast on the Kings.  From the Kings press release:

  • Comcast SportsNet California will air over 500 hours of Sacramento Kings-related programming throughout the year.
  • Kings telecasts will increase from 70 to 80 games per season on Comcast SportsNet California.
  • Comcast SportsNet is now managing and selling all in-game, pre-game and post-game advertising and sponsorships.
  • The network will add half-hour pre-and post-game shows - Kings Pregame Live and Kings Postgame Live - to its game-day coverage.
  • Additional programming includes: Kings Central, monthly magazine show; season preview and review shows; and NBA draft show.
  • The network will appoint a Kings Insider that will provide in-depth coverage across the network's multiplatform outlets, including CSNCalifornia.com's "KingsTalk" section and on-air for game telecasts, Kings Pregame Live, Kings Postgame Live, SportsNet Central, Yahoo SportsTalk Live and other NBA related programming.
  • Throughout the year, the network's signature shows SportsNet Central and Yahoo SportsTalk Live will provide comprehensive Kings news and analysis, insider reports and in-depth interviews with players, coaches, alumni and front office personnel.

Grant and Jerry are still slated to be the television play-by-play and color commentary as well, so don't worry about changes coming on that side.

This deal is a huge win for President of Business Operations Chris Granger, who was hired by the Kings last year to bring just this type of negotiating savvy and skill to the team.  This deal, coupled with the NBA's new television deal and a new state-of-the-art arena in a couple years, will greatly increase the teams' profitability and ability to stay financially competitive with other NBA franchises.  When Vivek Ranadivé bought this team for a valuation of $535 million last year, it was thought to be a big overpay.  But with the value of television deals and franchise valuations (see Steve Ballmer's $2 billion bid for the Clippers) rising astronomically, Vivek's gamble has seemingly already paid off.