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Report: Celtics to sign lucrative broadcasting deal 07.18.11 at 1:29 pm ET
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Celtics owners would probably rather this news come when they aren’t locking their players out while the NBA cries poor, but the C’s and Comcast SportsNet New England are finalizing a broadcasting rights extension that should benefit the team by tens of millions of dollars — if not nine figures — per year, according to a Sporting News report.

Unlike the Red Sox, the Celtics do not currently own the network that broadcasts their games, but this 20-year extension would reportedly give Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca & Co. a 20 percent ownership stake in Comcast’s regional sports network.

The NBA would have to approve such an agreement, and that might not happen until after the lockout. How much the Celtics take home from the reported deal will also depend on the collective bargaining agreement, as revenue sharing like this is at the heart of the negotiations.

The Celtics and CSNNE began discussions a year ago, and talks started steamrolling in February once the rival Lakers signed a 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable worth an estimated $200 million annually, the Sporting News said. According to a February Sports Business Journal report, the Lakers (4.9) and Celtics (4.8) ranked fourth and fifth in television ratings this past season. Here’s how the Sporting News broke down the financials …

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