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Mystery Solved? Comcast Probably Paid $100M to SF Giants

Comcast will not officially confirm it, but it seems that the $100 million, 25-year programming rights deal CFO Michael Angelakis alluded to on the operator’s earnings call yesterday was with the San Francisco Giants.

In December 2007, the Giants and FSN Bay Area, operated by Comcast SportsNet, announced a "long-term rights extension" agreement. Comcast bought Cablevision’s 60% interest in FSN Bay Area a year ago with Fox Sports retaining 40% ownership. (The network became Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in April.)

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported the Giants bought an interest in the RSN covering a term of… 25 years. The paper said the Giants took a 20%-30% stake in the network.

I asked an exec from Comcast’s programming unit — albeit one who does not have direct knowledge of the Giants/Comcast SportsNet Bay Area deal — what the $100 million outlay could be for. Without prompting, the executive said, "Oh, it’s probably the Bay Area/Giants deal."