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StevenJB

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  1. The Nationals had won an increase of annual rights fees since 2010 by the arbitrators over the first five year benchmark amount of $29 million per year for seasons 2005 through 2009. The contract called for equal payments to both the Orioles and the Nationals each year. That means that MASN must pay to the Orioles the same increase that it pays to the Nationals. MLB had been paying that difference owed to the Nationals every year since MASN has tied up the contract in court. MASN owes MLB that accumulated difference and the bill is coming due. If MASN owes the Nationals $100 million then it also owes the Orioles additionally the same amount of $100 million plus whatever it owes to MLB. Hence, that is the reason for the off-season fire sale. I would guess that MASN might be close to bankruptcy. I can see the one of several things happening. The MASN contract which was to last for 20 years (2005 through 2024) could be dissolved by mutual agreement between the Nationals, the Orioles, and MLB. The Orioles/MASN would be forgiven for what it owes MLB in exchange for freeing the Nationals from the contract and after paying off the Nationals what it owes them. The Nationals and the Orioles would then negotiate their own separate RSN deals. Each team would get to maintain the same TV footprint that it now enjoys with MASN. However, the Orioles may want to offer the Nationals a 50% ownership share in MASN as an enticement to remain in and extend MASN past 2024. The Orioles, whether they want to admit it or not, now need the Nationals as a partner. The Orioles are now a small market team. They need the full penetration of the Greater Washington, DC market in order to prosper. Peter Angelos actually admitted this in 2004 as a reason he did not want the Montreal Expos to move to Washington. The Nationals will not remain in any RSN that partners them with the Orioles nor should they. The Orioles have been backstabbing the Nationals ever since the Expos moved from Montreal to Washington for 2005. Peter Angelos forced the Nationals and MLB into a draconian television deal because of his intense hatred of Washington Baseball. Instead of welcoming the Nationals into the region, he fought them in every way that he could. Instead of offering the Nationals a 50% interest in MASN, he offered them a deal that would see them gain a maximum of only 33% equity by 2025. Instead of offering to market each team throughout the region by selling each others tickets at each stadium he closed up the Orioles store in downtown DC. Peter Angelos has maintained a legacy of hatred against the Nationals. He has forbidden the Orioles from any dealings with the Nationals including player transactions or joint team promotions. The Nationals must sever any financial relationship that it has with Orioles as long as the Angelos family has control of the team.
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