The Nationals secured a key legal victory in their long-running TV rights fees battle with the jointly owned and Orioles-controlled Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), as Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun was among those to report. The decision upholds an arbitration award in the Nationals’ favor, which was issued earlier this year.
This does not represent a final victory for the Nationals, as the Orioles (through MASN) will still be able to appeal on various issues. But there may now be an end in sight for the D.C. club, which lost at the trial-court stage when the O’s challenged the original arbitration decision in late 2015. That decision kicked off the complicated, multi-round process that is still unfolding.
The Nationals have cured the conflict-of-interest issue — relating to legal representation — that led to the initial ruling. This time, the O’s presented a theory that MLB could not serve as the arbitration forum because it had an interest in the outcome due to loans it made to the Nationals.
If the Baltimore legal team isn’t able to pull off another upset win at the appellate level, the team will ultimately owe a hefty bill to its southern neighbors. As discussed at the time of the arbitration panel’s decision, the expectation is that the Nationals will be due something in range of $60MM to $70MM once all the accounting is sorted out. The new ruling also requires the Orioles to pony up interest on the obligations — one of the matters that will surely be addressed on appeal.
There are still plenty of loose ends. As noted, there will be a direct appeal on several issues. The Orioles have also initiated a separate arbitration proceeding regarding the team’s decision not to distribute certain funds to the Nationals during the pendency of the initial dispute. And since the rights fees re-set occurs every five years, this particular litigation/arbitration covers the rights fees for only the 2012-16 seasons … meaning there’s an ongoing need to work out the numbers for the ensuing five-year periods.
Should just play a best of 7 series to determine the winner
The Nats would win in 4
Not if it’s a game 5 in DC
Im just going to let you figure out on your own, the necessity of a game 5 in DC, after a 4 game sweep…
Hell in a Cell
Loser becomes a AAA team for the other.
The nationals current AAA team is probably better than the O’s (a joke, im not intimately familiar with the Nats AAA team)
It’s kind of a stupid deal because their AAA team is all the way out here in Fresno. It’s the reason why their harboring some better prospects at AA
Moving their AAA team to Baltimore would be convenient then!
Rob Manfred has operated with a clear bias against the Orioles due to this dispute. I don’t get how this clown is still MLB commissioner when he operates with bias along with his other stupid decisions. Manfred is the worst thing to ever happen to baseball.
Both teams are trash. I rather see the browns and expos
Trash knows trash!
What do you mean by trash? The Orioles over the years have been far more successful than the Browns were. The Nationals are pretty good but just choke in the playoffs.
DFA’ed in Gaffa
No choke this year! They had some terrible luck in the past, but got some breaks this year.
Manfred doesn’t sneeze without the permission of the owners.
I’d like to know little bit more about your opinion on the commissioner because at the end of the day it’s all about viewership attendance and money. What do you think that you could do that would be an improvement over what he’s doing? And I would really look for a nice answer without telling me how stupid I am
Gotta extend Rendon now, right?
Who reported this?
ESPN did yesterday.
It is a court decision, which is a matter of public record. It was covered by a lot of outlets, including the one we cited and linked to here.
Is this considered a “trade rumor”?
Get over it. This site reports baseball news.
In a chat, I asked for more news on teams that dont get the media attention. I was told by the host to read the title of the site. If i wanted that info, go to espn.com.
This is the worst sort of comment. Either you are new and should thus read the articles to understand the kind of reporting done here or you have been around a long time and should know better
Why do the Nationals need loans from MLB when they are owned by a billionaire!!??
They didnt become billionaires writing checks with their own money. Why don’t teams have to pay income tax is a real issue.
Because most billionaires don’t have the liquid assets to accomplish what they want to do. Most rich people are rich “on paper” through stocks, bonds, or real estate and don’t have vaults of money to swim in like Scrooge McDuck.
I’m not sure how you made it this far in life if If you’re amazed that billionaires take out loans.
I don’t have a degree in economics but I know that rich people don’t pay taxes buddy.
Imagine going through life with a last name like Schmuch?
Peter must be one tough guy!
Not as tough as if he was Peter Putz……
Or Peter Buttwipetoiletsuck
I know… who would want to be called Peter..
Does this allow Spider-Man to return to the MCU?
I enjoyed that comment
60-70 million in back pay seems low to me for the 5+ years this has been going on. Does anyone know what the Nationals have been getting paid per year during all of this?
I believe that’s just for 2012-2016. There would be another amount for 2017+
In addition to only covering only 2012-16, the award will also force a recalculation of MASN’s profits for those five years. That will reduce the amount of profits that go to both teams for that time period. Since the Nationals only own a small portion of MASN (because of the way the MASN deal is structured), it won’t impact them as much as it will the O’s. But it will slightly reduce the final award.
Didnt the Nationals sign this contract in the beginning?
They did. People like to ignore that.
MLB signed the contract for the franchise; the Lerners had no choice but to accept the deal as part of the franchise that they were buying.
Which is irrelevant here, because in this case the Nationals are not trying to avoid/escape the MASN deal; they are actually trying to enforce the deal. It’s the O’s/MASN that are trying to weasel out of the deal that they signed, trying to get out from under the result arrived at in accordance with the MASN agreement. That’s why they’ve lost on substance in every ruling in this whole dispute. Even the decision that threw out the original award held that, but for the COI from the Proskauer firm, the O’s lose on every substantive point that they raised.
I dont get anyone who thinks its the Nationals in the wrong. They are doing what the contract calls for!
Nationals just made 70M there and another 300 on not re-signing Harper.
Kick us while we’re down. Too bad the angelos law offices couldn’t make a good case, he’d make himself an asset to the team.
Wouldn’t it be an opportune time to ask if we can just have the O’s, Pirates, Royals and Marlins form their own league?
What would you call it? The Eastern League or the Southern League?
The Royals have been to two World Series in the past 5 years — winning one of them. Neither the Yankees or Dodgers can say that.
I’d rather retract the league and make Baltimore the AAA team for DC. Retract both Baltimore and Miami. We’d be better off with 28 teams over this tanking mess that’s the mlb.
Speak for yourself, you’re obviously offended because you’re a fan of one of the terrible teams I mentioned. Terrible isn’t subjective, it’s a bloody fact.
The US can’t afford to reduce any of its sports teams. When things are really bad just below the brittle surface, give the people more circus and cake. That was the Roman way and now it is the US way.
Haven’t we reached the time when it’s prudent to simply give the O’s, Marlins,
Royals, Tigers and Pirates their own league?
I wish MLBTR would conduct a poll on contracting the league. First, is it a good idea? Second, which teams should go?
My vote, yes contract. My trash teams are the Orioles, Rays, Indians, Padres, Mets, and Rangers. Maybe the Royals too because the Cards provide enough awesome baseball to fill that geographical void.
Baltimore needs to lose its mlb status and become the nationals AAA team.
Did you say that about the Astros and Cubs 8 years ago?
Keep crying O’s fan. I truly feel bad for Adley Ruchman as he the only real talent in the entire system.
Your team will someday fall on dark times. It’s inevitable.
I noticed you didn’t answer the question. You’re an idiot. But you know that.
And how many World Series trophies do the Nat’s have? Oh ,that’s right,none,cause they’ve never won a playoff series!
Maybe they should be the O’s triple a team!
DFA’ed in Gaffa
@jlahman. You were saying?
You mean like having your franchise gutted by MLB and ,mismanaged the first year and a half… Having to rebuild through a farm system with almost literally nothing…. All the while the network who covers your team is withholding money they owe you…?
You mean like those dark days? .
Tampa and Miami definitely need to move. They are the two lowest attendance teams. Miami at 10,000 and Tampa at 15,000 average. And Tampa is in a playoff race. The players under contract with those teams should be entered into a draft system like the amateur draft.
Who would be the top picks?
I’ll take Wander over all of them.
I would too. He’s going to be something special.
I wish the Expos would return home to Montreal. DC only needs one team.