Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Times backs into acknowledging the much-reduced Barclays naming rights deal

Tacked on to the end of the New York Times print edition article today, headlined $500 Million in Bonds Sold in 2 Hours for Nets’ Arena, is this:
Barclays agreed to pay $10 million a year for 20 years for the naming rights under a deal that has been revised twice since it was struck in 2007. The original deal was worth $400 million and was set to expire at the end of 2008. The bank agreed to extend the deal but at a reduced price.

Nets officials, however, say Barclays will pay an additional sum for other promotional rights connected to the project.
Yes, but Nets officials haven't specified that number, which likely isn't close to $10 million a year. And that means that the deal might not be a record--or just barely be one--after all.

All in all, it's pretty tepid context, given that the newspaper touted the original naming rights agreement as a record, and repeatedly cited the reported $400 million total as fact.

Also note that the Times article, unlike, for example, the two 2007 Times articles about the deal, failed to acknowledge that "Forest City is also The New York Times's development partner on the newspaper's new headquarters in Midtown."

Also see Neil deMause for skepticism about the "two-hour" claim, given that bonds aren't sold until buyers are lined up.

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