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N.Y. Appeals Court Upholds 100M MASN Award

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/10/22/nationals-masn-award/

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A New York appeals court ruled Thursday in favor of the Nationals in a dispute with Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, upholding a $100 million award for the team.

An attorney for MASN, which is owned partially by the Nationals and Baltimore Orioles but controlled by the Orioles, said the network would appeal the decision to New York’s appellate court.

 

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So does this mean anything real?  Does it change anything? 

I've given up trying to fathom what the concrete meaning of all of these rulings and decisions and appeals mean.  

Frobby will probably come on and explain it and if I study what he writes I'll probably comprehend the words, but I still won't know what it means to the bottom line.

Especially on a Friday night.  

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49 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Is the Angelos law firm handling this or did they hire an outside firm?

Very high quality outside firms on both sides.   

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7 minutes ago, SteveA said:

So does this mean anything real?  Does it change anything? 

I've given up trying to fathom what the concrete meaning of all of these rulings and decisions and appeals mean.  

Frobby will probably come on and explain it and if I study what he writes I'll probably comprehend the words, but I still won't know what it means to the bottom line.

Especially on a Friday night.  

Looks to me that all that happened is one more level of appeal is done.  I'm not sure why the Orioles are spending money on this since it looks like the chances of them winning are pretty remote.

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I would have been shocked if MASN had won its appeal.   The law is very heavily stacked to not overturn arbitration awards.   The prior decision that overturned the first award was a very rare exception.   MASN has one more level of appeal it can take, but it will almost certainly lose again.   

My recollection is that although MASN owes the Nats $100 mm in rights fees, about $30 mm of that is offset by a reduction in the Nats’ share of MASN’s profits.   (Higher rights fees —> lower profits for MASN so the Nats’ share of profits go down.)

Of course, by now we’re 4 years into the 5-year second “reset” period, and that one hasn’t even been the subject of an arbitration award yet.  
 

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

I would have been shocked if MASN had won its appeal.   The law is very heavily stacked to not overturn arbitration awards.   The prior decision that overturned the first award was a very rare exception.   MASN has one more level of appeal it can take, but it will almost certainly lose again.   

My recollection is that although MASN owes the Nats $100 mm in rights fees, about $30 mm of that is offset by a reduction in the Nats’ share of MASN’s profits.   (Higher rights fees —> lower profits for MASN so the Nats’ share of profits go down.)

Of course, by now we’re 4 years into the 5-year second “reset” period, and that one hasn’t even been the subject of an arbitration award yet.  
 

MASN and the Orioles do not have a right to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals, NY's highest court. They have to ask the Court of Appeals to grant an appeal. It's hard to see any reason why the Court of Appeals would choose to get involved at this point.

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9 minutes ago, spiritof66 said:

MASN and the Orioles do not have a right to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals, NY's highest court. They have to ask the Court of Appeals to grant an appeal. It's hard to see any reason why the Court of Appeals would choose to get involved at this point.

Thanks.   Thought that was the case, but I wasn’t sure how it goes in NY state court.   

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I found the Appellate Division decision.   To say they gave MASN’s arguments short shrift would be an understatement.   You can read the opinion here, and it takes about 60 seconds to read: 

http://nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2020/2020_06039.htm

I agree with spiritof66 that the NY Court of Appeals will not hear a further appeal.    I don’t know how long MASN gets to petition that Court or how long it usually takes for the Court to indicate whether it will grant a hearing, but I’m guessing this will all be over in a couple more months.    

As a reminder, even though the total amount awarded in the second arbitration was close to the amount awarded the first time, the methodology was somewhat different and possibly more favorable towards MASN/the Orioles as applied to later periods.
 

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17 hours ago, Frobby said:

Thanks.   Thought that was the case, but I wasn’t sure how it goes in NY state court.   

There is a right to an appeal to the Court of Appeals under certain circumstances. MASN and the Orioles had a right to appeal to the Court of Appeals earlier because there was a dissent in the Appellate Division.  That's not the case here, and although some of the grounds for that right to appeal are pretty arcane and hard to assess, I don't see any basis for saying there's a right to appeal appeal here. It really doesn't matter much,  though, since that appeal probably would extend things only a little bit for the reasons you stated. 

I'm a little, by which I mean a lot, rusty as well as out of date on the timing, but I'll check with someone next week for an estimate of how long it takes the Court of Appeals to deny a weak motion for leave to appeal.

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On 10/23/2020 at 8:50 PM, SteveA said:

So does this mean anything real?  Does it change anything? 

I've given up trying to fathom what the concrete meaning of all of these rulings and decisions and appeals mean.  

Frobby will probably come on and explain it and if I study what he writes I'll probably comprehend the words, but I still won't know what it means to the bottom line.

Especially on a Friday night.  

BOY howdy!

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On 10/23/2020 at 9:05 PM, Frobby said:

I would have been shocked if MASN had won its appeal.   The law is very heavily stacked to not overturn arbitration awards.   The prior decision that overturned the first award was a very rare exception.   MASN has one more level of appeal it can take, but it will almost certainly lose again.   

My recollection is that although MASN owes the Nats $100 mm in rights fees, about $30 mm of that is offset by a reduction in the Nats’ share of MASN’s profits.   (Higher rights fees —> lower profits for MASN so the Nats’ share of profits go down.)

Of course, by now we’re 4 years into the 5-year second “reset” period, and that one hasn’t even been the subject of an arbitration award yet.  
 

So basically...MLB made the decision to create MASN, and put the O's and Gnats in a room and told them to play tic-tac-toe till someone wins...

 

 

 

 

 

of course there would have been two years of court cases to see who goes first.....

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Just saw that on Jan. 7, the First Department of the NY Appellate Division denied a request by MASN and the Orioles for reargument or alternatively leave to appeal to the NY Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court).    I don’t know if that means there is no other avenue to seek relief at the Court of Appeals, but the chances there are extremely slim in any event.   

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38 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Just saw that on Jan. 7, the First Department of the NY Appellate Division denied a request by MASN and the Orioles for reargument or alternatively leave to appeal to the NY Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court).    I don’t know if that means there is no other avenue to seek relief at the Court of Appeals, but the chances there are extremely slim in any event.   

Once again we get these periodic updates that I have no comprehension of the meaning.   This court says this, this one says that, etc. 

Do we have any bottom line as to when MASN will have to cut a check to the Nats and how much it will be?   Otherwise, this might as well be written in Greek for all I get out of it.

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