Reports: Padres' new TV deal could be worth more than $1 billion

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The Padres' TV deal, which could be worth as much as $1.2 billion, is close to being approved by Major League Baseball, the San  Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Citing "two sources familiar with the situation," the paper reporters there are no more obstacles for a formal approval. The deal with Fox Sports is expected to be for 20 years, averaging $50 million per season and a $200 million signing bonus. The team would also receive a 20 percent equity stake in Fox Sports San Diego, which would show Padres games.

On Thursday, the North County Times reported the deal "is all but finalized," according to a source. That report had the value of the deal to be "potentially $1 billion."

Padres majority owner John Moores refused comment to the Times, but did not, "life is good and I'll leave it at that."

The new TV deals are a major factor in some of the big deals given to players recently, including the Angels' deal with Albert Pujols, the Rangers' Yu Darvish and the Reds' Joey Votto. The Angels and Rangers have both recently signed new 20-year deals reportedly worth approximately $3 billion each. The Reds' TV contract is scheduled to run out in four years, when Votto's pay will increase.

The Padres received $15 million from Channel 4 San Diego last season and are likely to get at least $30 million this season, according to the North County Times. The Padres' ratings were down 41.4 percent last season, the largest negative change in baseball in 2011. The team had a total rating of 3.15 and are in the 26th-largest market in baseball.

According to USA Today, the Padres had the lowest opening-day payroll in the big leagues at $55,244,700 to start the season.

The Union-Tribune reports the Padres' deal could be announced next week.

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