Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Lawsuit Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hollywood Reporter: TV Broadcaster Challenges MLB’s Secret $25 Million Deal With Washington Nationals

The motion to vacate the arbitration ruling is largely premised on the role that Proskauer Rose played. The law firm represented the Nationals during the arbitration, but allegedly has conflicts — it has been involved in many MLB matters including the antitrust lawsuit over TV deals that is about to be presented to the 2nd Circuit. It represented the Mets in the Bernie Madoff affair, the Tampa Bay Rays in salary disputes with players, and much more.

In fact, on Monday, MASN told the judge that the law firm was “even more intertwined with MLB than was previously revealed,” counting 74 separate engagements, including 49 that occurred during the arbitration. These matters included representing the MLB in the Biogenesis investigation, in the dispute over the league’s one-year suspension of Alex Rodriguez and former MLB commissioner Bud Selig in the 2012 extension of his $22 million-per-year employment contract.

The Orioles and its broadcaster only threw up a number of soft objections to Proskauer’s involvement during the arbitration, but is now using its legal bat to drive home the point that MLB used the law firm to gain an illicit advantage over the arbitration process. The Nationals argue that MLB’s conflict of interest is “irrelevant” because the firm represented the league in unrelated matters, but the Orioles/MASN assert that MLB and Rob Manfred — who becomes the league’s new commissioner this month — “maintained almost complete control over the Arbitration and Award.”

And why exactly does the MLB care what MASN pays to the Nationals for the right to televise its games? If MLB used Proskauer to sway the arbitrators, what did MLB stand to gain from favoring one team over another?

As detailed in prior stories on this dispute, MLB privately paid $25 million to the Nationals to soothe team owner Ted Lerner’s own problems with being forced to license its games at a discount. Now, MASN tells the judge that the arbitration award must be vacated because “MLB had (and still has) a direct financial interest in the outcome.”

On Monday, Alan Rifkin, an attorney representing MASN, delivered an extraordinary sworn affidavit (read here in full) in the courtroom battle over TV money. It attempts to explain MLB’s stake.

Rifkin says he had discussions with Manfred — then the MLB’s chief operating officer — in August 2013. According to Rifkin, Manfred wrote that MLB had “resolved” the Nationals’ claim for additional telecast rights fees for 2012 and 2013 and that the league would “fund the entire cost of the resolution.”

At the time, Rifkin thought that MLB was going to pay the Nationals $7.5 million and believed this was a mistake because he says it “would only encourage the Nationals to believe that they were entitled to telecast rights fees in excess” of what the team deserved.

Only later, he says, did he learn that MLB had actually paid the Nationals $25 million. Manfred wanted to know if the Orioles would consider allowing the MLB to recoup the money through the proceeds of a sale of MASN, says Rifkin. The entreaty was allegedly rejected. ...

A spokesperson for MLB said the league had no comment about yesterday’s court filings. In prior papers filed by Manfred in the case, he wrote that MLB only plays a “support role” in the arbitration, that the process was well known by the Orioles, and that during the proceedings no party complained that it hadn’t been given an opportunity to present its case nor ever objected to the procedure.

JE (Jason) Posted: January 14, 2015 at 01:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: lawsuit, masn, nationals, orioles, peter angelos, tv rights

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2060 - 9:20am, May 24)
Last: Oriole Tragic

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3725 - 9:16am, May 24)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogMURRAY CHASS: FIVE PERCENT IS NO SOLUTION
(14 - 9:13am, May 24)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogMatt Williams on Harper: ‘I want Bryce to be Bryce’ - The Washington Post
(7 - 9:11am, May 24)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogYankees will pay Alex Rodriguez's home run bonus if .... | NJ.com
(14 - 8:59am, May 24)
Last: 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people

NewsblogDJ Short: UPDATE: David Wright diagnosed with spinal stenosis
(4 - 8:51am, May 24)
Last: Tree

NewsblogWaPo: Aaron Barrett wins epic post-anthem standoff
(1 - 8:43am, May 24)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogAlex Rodriguez ties Babe Ruth for 4th on all-time RBIs list at 1,992
(13 - 8:35am, May 24)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogMeasuring MLB's best game-callers
(7 - 8:33am, May 24)
Last: AROM

NewsblogOn Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee | MLB.com
(13 - 5:56am, May 24)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogHolding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame's Era Ballot Vote Process
(21 - 3:31am, May 24)
Last: bobm

NewsblogMoney is MLB's biggest obstacle to a 154-game season
(30 - 1:49am, May 24)
Last: Squash

NewsblogMike Trout teaches expert lesson in the art of sliding | MLB.com
(34 - 1:44am, May 24)
Last: puck

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-23-2015
(106 - 1:18am, May 24)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(460 - 10:39pm, May 23)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

Page rendered in 1.6738 seconds
47 querie(s) executed