It's no secret that the Anaheim Ducks have been a 'budget team' in the years following the Cup win. The salary cap grew as revenue was falling for the Ducks.
Signing Ryan Getzlaf for eight years, $66M looked like it was going to be the biggest dent in the Ducks budget, leaving little room for 'Corey Perry money'. So you can imagine why everyone was surprised when Corey Perry inked a $69M deal 10 days later.
The question around the hockey world is/was: How are the Samuelis going to be pay for The Twins and still field a competitive team under a budget?
Reader Thyme brought up a great point in the discussion following Perry's signing: when is the Ducks' TV deal with Fox Sports due to expire? The Samuelis could be banking on the renegotiated deal as an infusion of cash to supplement what they're paying out of pocket.
AC Associate Editor Chris did a little digging and found the current TV deal ends after the 2013-2014 season. He also mentions the prior deal from 1998-2008 was renewed two years before it's expiration. The Ducks are currently in the second to last season on the contract and as far as we know, haven't started talks to renew with Fox Sports. As Chris said, read into it as much as you want to.
In order to get more insight, I turned to SBNation's own Steve Lepore of Puck the Media, your source for all things sports entertainment and business.
Steve points out there could be two potential bachelors vying for the Ducks rose:
Given that Time Warner is going to launch a separate cable network for the Dodgers (separate from the Lakers network), there will be -- in theory -- two bidders for the Ducks' services between Fox and Time Warner.
There are many professional teams in the Los Angeles and Orange County outlets who could compete against the Ducks for a share of the TV pot - or is there? As Steve said, the Lakers have their own network, which also shows LA Galaxy games. The Dodgers are getting their own network. As for the Kings and Angels? From Steve:
The Kings were recently wrapped up by Fox for $250 million for the next decade. The Angels are signed away for the next 20 years.
Now the question is, how can the Ducks maximize their negotiating power for the ultimate return-on-investment? Steve, one last time:
It would seem from my distant vantage point that the Ducks are the final prize available for TV rights between the two companies for the foreseeable future ... The Ducks being competitive right around the time their TV rights become available is huge. High demand and competition will only help.
The Ducks success right now is a great jettison to begin negotiations but I can see both Time Warner and Fox Sports waiting until next season to sign a check. Now is the time for the Ducks to spend money in order to make money. Step up the marketing to get the butts in the seats and secure a roster that will be competitive for years to come.
Yet the most important part can't be solved by money. Anaheim must make a deeeeeep run in the playoffs to see a payoff in the next TV deal.