A bunch of you have probably wondered what the end goal is for Monumental Network, the Wizards' newest in-house media empire. For now, it's all online, but according to Ted Leonsis himself, the plan is much bigger.
In a radio segment on WTOP, Leonsis firmly stated that the goal is to eventually purchase the TV rights from Comcast SportsNet:
Right now, we have a great relationship with comcast sports net, but they don't pay us enough money. And you look around the league, and they have done new deals and they pay them a lot of money. In some cases ten times more than we make. So we have to pay more money to the players, but it puts us at a competitive disadvantage that we don't have the resources to compete with these teams. At some point we have to launch our own network, and so the monumental network helps. One day you're going to walk into the Verizon center and see a big studio, and I suspect that our future means that we will have a network.
Right now it's available on the web, and our deal with Comcast ends in four or five years, and we'll see what the future holds.
Teams owning their own regional cable network is uncommon in the NBA now, but the trend is increasingly shifting. TheKnicks and Nets currently own a portion of their stations, and the Lakers, while not owning Time-Warner Cable, recently signed a 20-year, $3 billion contract that includes a separate Lakers channel.
In any event, Leonsis is right that a huge percentage of a sports team's revenue comes from its TV deal, so a future split from Comcast SportsNet makes sense if a raise isn't involved.
Leonsis also answered some other Wizards questions that are worth reading.
Full disclosure: SB Nation and Monumental Sports have a limited content-sharing partnership that includes the trading of links and the weekly "Press Row" web program. Neither parent company owns the other, though.