In this age of major television deals for professional teams, the Seattle Mariners jumped on the bandwagon with an announcement on Tuesday. Seattle has signed an estimated $2 billion deal with DirecTV to start a regional sports network. The Mariners will hold the majority stake in the new network. This is the kind of move that will bring tons of money into the Seattle organization and may allow the team to become a major player in the years to come in free agency.
The current TV deal for the Mariners is worth $450 million so the team has increased the contract four-fold. This is the kind of deal that will assure that the team has money to keep paying for Felix Hernandez over the length of his long contract. The team may also be able to bring in some big-name free agents as well to help Hernandez out instead of considering trading him away. I can guarantee you will see more teams around MLB making these kinds of deals in the coming years.
It is the most profitable way to go about things these days especially if you own the network yourself. The team can control the programming with their majority share which means you are about to see every Seattle game on television along with a bunch of other sports in Washington. This is a great transaction for the Mariners and one that is going to prove to be very profitable over the next 20 years. I would be watching to see how this new deal impacts player movement for Seattle beginning this offseason.