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. . . we need to consider a dizzying array of factors, including an honest evaluation of team talent and AL East competition, the incredibly opaque realm of team finances and TV deals, and the riches-to-rags-to-riches recent history that’s affected both the team’s record and bottom line.
Around the turn of the millennium, Baltimore had one of the higher payrolls.
Supposedly, Angelos bought the Orioles because even though he was filthy rich, he was so unknown he couldn't get a good table in the better restaurants.
I know Angelos is Satan Incarnate on this board but the article shows some balance in describing the history of the franchise and the difficulties adding another team to a market can have. This is a cautionary tale for the Oakland As moving to San Jose , the Portland area gaining a franchise and other options. A new team takes a big bite out of media money and fan base. When MLB attempts to counteract this with a sweetheart TV deal or just saying no, the fan base screams that the existing franchise is evil and greedy.
Kinda think the DC/Baltimore markets have some wealthy folks but not a lot of them...
The Dodgers don't own Time Warner, but the O's and Nats do co-own MASN. The O's get 85% of MASN's profits on top of their $29M rights fee. The Nats only get 15% on top of their $20M. That's the real problem, isn't it?
MASN's main problem, primarily in Washington, is that once baseball season ends, there's little reason to watch. YES has the Nets, NESN the Bruins (not sure if any other MLB-owned team channels carry an NBA or NHL franchise), but MASN has no pro winter sports tenant -- and worse for the channel, ACC rights belong to CSN Washington/Baltimore. (It should have made a quick strike for Big Ten rights once Maryland announced it was joining, but that's probably too late now.) You can watch some George Mason, George Washington and Georgetown games on MASN, but that's about it. Without an NBA/NHL team, MASN essentially becomes invisible from October through February.
Angelos might be best off selling majority control in MASN to Comcast, which could put the Nats on CSN Washington, the Orioles on CSN Baltimore, with guarantees both channels would be aired by all participating cable systems. Going from MASN to CSN would drastically boost the Nats' profile among D.C.-area viewers.
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