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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hardball Talk: Calcaterra: Nationals-Orioles TV Money Dispute about to Explode

This could be interesting.

Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, orioles

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   1. puck Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4761298)
Bud Selig wrote both clubs — and Hollywood Reporter has the letter — warning them that if they sue over this they’re in DEEP TROUBLE suggesting that they may have “the most severe sanctions” leveled against them if they do...

...Oh, and those “most severe sanctions” Selig threatened the O’s and Nats with? Those include the sorts of sanctions that cost Frank McCourt ownership of the Dodgers. Of course McCourt was a wounded animal at the time. Would Selig dare try to go after Peter Angelos or the Lerners like that?


Has this been commented on in other threads on the topic?

Not that I think MLB would try to take the Orioles away...what other sanctions would there be?
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4761310)
Not that I think MLB would try to take the Orioles away...what other sanctions would there be?

He's going to cut FP Santangelo in half?
   3. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 31, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4761343)
Was my post deleted?
   4. StHendu Posted: July 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4761364)
Selig's fault for forcing the team out of Montreal. This feud has been going on for 10 years.
   5. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4761521)
He's going to cut FP Santangelo in half?

Orioles get F Sant, Nationals get P Angelo.
   6. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4761537)
The Nationals should tell the scumbag that he has until the end of the season to abide by baseball's decision, and that if he doesn't, he will be in violation in the agreement and the agreement is thus terminated. Then they should immediately begin negotiating with Fox and Comcast for their own TV deal.

Don't make the mistake of suing the scumbag; force the scumbag to sue us. Baseball's ruling just took almost all of the leverage in the situation away from the scumbag and gave it to us, so we may as well take full advantage of it.
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4761598)
Was my post deleted?

No.
   8. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 31, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4761672)
#6, get real.

The arbitration panel - the other owners - have a vested interest in seeing another team's rights fees skyrocket because it gives them leverage in their own markets.

But the fact is the number from the panel is a made-up number - a number the other owners would like to see for themselves. Angelos would be happy to have the Nats leave MASN and start up their own channel and have to do all the work themselves to see just how much they can rape cable/sat TV subscribers. The gambit ain't working for the Dodgers and Astros, and even the Cubs are having an issue. Selig is trying to get the Nats 2012-based TV money but the market in 2014 isn't the same. From Angelos' perspective, the money given to him on the front end for market sharing Selig is now trying to take back on the back end.
   9. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: July 31, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4761713)
Angelos would be happy to have the Nats leave MASN and start up their own channel and have to do all the work themselves to see just how much they can rape cable/sat TV subscribers.

You're completely and totally full of sh*t. If that were any truth to that at all, he would have freed us a long time ago instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep us tied down in his chains.

Please tell me this isn't the best argument you can come up with, because it's probably the single stupidest and most laughable claim I've seen made here in my ten years on the site.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 31, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4761737)
Not that I think MLB would try to take the Orioles away...what other sanctions would there be?


Take away their territorial "rights"

Teams should be free to market themselves whenever and wherever

also the Giants should have no say in where the Oakland As want to move
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4761752)
The arbitration panel - the other owners - have a vested interest in seeing another team's rights fees skyrocket because it gives them leverage in their own markets.

Might be true to a slight degree, but that is totally irrelevant to the validity of the arbitration panel's decision. Angelos didn't challenge the composition of the panel until after it ruled against him. He doesn't have a leg to stand on.
   12. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 31, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4761754)
Consider that the Orioles TV ratings are 3x the Nats TV ratings (you could look it up). Since the market is shared, the Orioles fair market value of TV money is roughly 3x that of the Nats. If MLB's (farcical) panel thinks the Nats deserve 100 million, then the Orioles deserve 300 million. Out of a $400 million, the Nats deserve 25%.

The problem is MASN only generates revenues around 160 million. MLB is actually saying the lower-rated team deserves the majority of the TV money. That is absolutely insane and even a jury of mathematically-challenged American jurors would side with Angelos.

Naturally, the mathematics are exactly what Bud Selig wants to make sure stays under wraps. Instead he wants a ruling based not on anything resembling mathematical fairness but on legal semantics. What the Nats are presently getting since 2012 amounts to roughly 25% of the revenue - but since the nominal amount is less than what Bud's kangaroo court says they should get, the Lerners are balking. Bud Selig could have already discussed this with the Lerners, but for whatever reason Selig wants to take it to this extreme.

Bud Selig has done NOTHING for the long-term health of baseball. He's done wonders for the medium-term revenues of baseball but based on the local TV issues with the Dodgers, Astros, and maybe even the Cubs, it looks like the medium-term is coming to an end.
   13. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 31, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4761764)
he would have freed us a long time ago instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep us tied down in his chains.


The chains were the price the Lerners paid to share a TV market. Those chains include an ever-increasing share of MASN for the party being shackled.

Now who's being laughable?
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4761838)
#12 is somewhat ludicrous on its face, but even more importantly, it ignores the fact that it is virtually impossible to challenge the merits of an arbitration decision. Angelos can't claim that the Nationals are bound by the MASN agreement then refuse to pay what the agreement calls for under the process established by the agreement. It really is that simple.
   15. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4761844)
it is virtually impossible to challenge the merits of an arbitration decision.


If you were talking about a federal arbitration panel you'd be correct. But this arbitration panel was 3 other team owners of Bud's choosing. I'm pretty sure Angelos knows more about the law than either of us.
   16. Kurt Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4761852)
Now who's being laughable?


Still you.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4761874)
force the scumbag to sue us... gave it to us... we... us... us...

Which giant head racing president are you, Joey? Millard Fillmore?
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4761901)
If you were talking about a federal arbitration panel you'd be correct. But this arbitration panel was 3 other team owners of Bud's choosing. I'm pretty sure Angelos knows more about the law than either of us.

You may be demonstrating that Angelos knows more than you about "the law", but that's about it. Didn't the MASN agreement empower Selig to appoint the arbitration panel? I believe it did. Did Angelos object to the composition of the panel before it ruled against him? That appears to be a "No". Sorry, that leaves Angelos with virtually no case. He can hope that delaying implementation of the arbitration decision or threatening to require a messy court case will cause MLB to modify the decision more to his favor, but that seems highly unlikely. If what is reported is true, Angelos loses because he has no grounds to object to the process explicitly created in the MASN agreement.
   19. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4761906)
If you were talking about a federal arbitration panel you'd be correct. But this arbitration panel was 3 other team owners of Bud's choosing. I'm pretty sure Angelos knows more about the law than either of us.
What the heck is a "federal arbitration panel"? Arbitrators are chosen by private agreement, not the government. The FAA applies to an arbitration conducted pursuant to MLB's constitution (or any other MLB agreements) just as much as pursuant to any other contract.

Assuming that the relevant agreements permit/provide for Selig appointing three owners to make an arbitration panel, that isn't grounds to object. And if he participated in the arbitration without complaint to begin with, then that's really not grounds to object. (Of course, he can object to the way they conducted things, but that's tough. He has to show corruption, fraud, or bias.)
   20. DKDC Posted: July 31, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4762027)
Of course, he can object to the way they conducted things, but that's tough. He has to show corruption, fraud, or bias.


That’s the point - the Orioles and MASN are claiming all three. None of us know whether they can prove it, but I’d bet the O’s legal strategy is a little more sophisticated than “nyah, nyah, we won’t pay” like some here seem to think.
   21. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 31, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4762057)
Right. Isn't the argument that Selig gave the Nats $25M out of his slush fund on the understanding that they'd pay him back once the arbitrator ruled in the Nats favor?
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4762092)
Right. Isn't the argument that Selig gave the Nats $25M out of his slush fund on the understanding that they'd pay him back once the arbitrator ruled in the Nats favor?
That does seem to be one of the incoherent allegations out there, but the issue is the arbitrators, not Selig.
   23. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4762127)
That does seem to be one of the incoherent allegations out there, but the issue is the arbitrators, not Selig.

Plus, just as with players who go to arbitration, this was always a matter of whether the Nats would get a lot more money or a lot more money and then some. It's not like MLB was at risk of not getting paid back. $25M will be a rounding error in the Nats' next long-term TV deal, even if they had lost in arbitration.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4762135)
Isn't the argument that Selig gave the Nats $25M out of his slush fund on the understanding that they'd pay him back once the arbitrator ruled in the Nats favor?

Not seeing how this is much of an issue, despite the "slush fund" nonsense. Selig advanced the Nationals $25M against the MASN money that was being held up by the protracted dispute with Angelos. It wasn't a gift. Angelos seems to think the Nationals & MLB were powerless to enforce the provisions of the MASN agreement, but that isn't the case.
   25. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4762161)
Consider that the Orioles TV ratings are 3x the Nats TV ratings (you could look it up). Since the market is shared, the Orioles fair market value of TV money is roughly 3x that of the Nats. If MLB's (farcical) panel thinks the Nats deserve 100 million, then the Orioles deserve 300 million. Out of a $400 million, the Nats deserve 25%.

Well, you're using rating points that represent different numbers. The Nationals are viewed in 46,000 homes a game while the Orioles are viewed in 62,000 homes. Last year the Nationals at the same point in time averaged 67,000 viewers a game while the Orioles averaged 66,000 viewers. I can't find the hard numbers but based on the numbers from 2013 I believe the Nationals also had more people watching in 2012 as well.

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