Padres radio, TV deals taking time

September 16, 2011
Courtesy of the North County Times

PadresWars have been fought in less time than it has taken the Padres to complete new TV and radio deals.

There is no question the Padres are leaving Channel 4 after 15 years and will wind up on Fox.

And after eight years on XX Sports 1090, the Padres are shopping their radio rights.

Fox most definitely wants the Padres on TV and is willing to pay.

There has been an agreement in place for some time with apparently only the final details and approval from the commissioner’s office holding up an announcement.

Word is the commissioner’s office feels the new TV deal is too front loaded and wants the agreement tweaked.

And while everyone feels he has an inside source, Tom Garfinkel — president and chief operating officer of the Padres — said it best.

“The theories of the uninformed are nothing more than rumors really,” Garfinkel said in an e-mail “The simple truth is that these things are complex and take time,”

When millions of dollars — maybe hundreds of millions of dollars — are at stake, one can understand the complexity of the TV deal.

But that doesn’t stop speculation and doesn’t keep current Channel 4 employees — who were all given layoff notices — from swaying in the wind.

Who will Fox keep? Who will be let go?

How much input do the Padres have on who stays and who goes?

Does Dick Enbereg, who has a year left on his TV contract, return? Do Mark Grant, Tony Gwynn, Jenny Cavnar, Bob Scalan and Jon Weisbarth survive?

Channel 4′s production is network quality. So does Fox keep Ed Barnes, Tom Ceterski and Jason Bott?

That brings us to the radio side.

Rumors — there’s that word again — have the Padres asking for $6 million a year, about equal to what 1090 is paying now.

But 1090 is losing millions at the price.

One industry source said the Padres’ radio rights are worth about $1.5 million a year, but someone might pay as much as $3 million because the team is an important property.

The Padres are rumored to have talked with management at Clear Channel about moving the team’s game to Rock 105.3-FM, the Chargers flagship station. Bad move, really bad move.

Clear Channel gives you a stable of stations to promote the team, but FM radio in San Diego —with its peaks and valleys — is tough.

The Chargers need to pony express their games on 105.3-FM, 101.5-FM, XTRA Sports 1360 and KLAC 570 among others to cover Southern California.

XX 1090 is a one-stop sports stop in Southern California with a 50,000-watt signal covering Southern California. Plus, the station commits two hours before games and an hour after to the Padres.

If the Padres do switch stations, though, what becomes of Ted Leitner, Jerry Coleman and Andy Masur, the team’s voices?

No matter where the team lands, all should return.

So you see, Garfinkel is right.

This really is a complex situation.

Read more at the North County Times where this story was originally published.