The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals are having a major battle off the playing field and it involves $298 million dollars in TV rights money.
In November, New York Supreme Court Justice, Lawrence Marks, threw out an arbitration that said Mid Atlantic Sports Network, also known as MASN, owes the Washington Nationals TV rights from 2012-2016.
MASN was formed in 2005 when the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington DC becoming the Nationals. Since the Nationals moved into the Orioles broadcasting territory - a territory they controlled since 1972 - the Orioles owns 90% of the network. The MLB paid the Orioles $75 million for the 10% stake in MASN for the expansion team. MASN airs original programming for both the Orioles and Nationals, along with all of their games. In 2012, both parties could not agree on a rights fee, appearing in front of the MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definition Committee which was apart of MASN’s agreement.
Marks made his decision to throw out the arbitration on Monday, preventing the revenue sharing committee from having a rehearing. Commissioner Rob Manfred has a feeling that this dispute will be settled by the RSDC due to the agreement in the contract, here is his comments Tuesday before the 87th All-Star Game.