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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles

IT IS ON!

I want there to be no doubt that, if any party initiates any lawsuit, or fails to act in strict compliance with the procedures set forth in the Agreement concerning the [Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee of Major League Baseball]‘s decision, I will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions available to me under the Major League Constitution.

boteman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:16 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: legal, nationals, orioles, seligula, tv rights

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   1. toratoratora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4759950)
Oh please please please let this go to court.
I think all Baltimoreans would love to see how much loot Angelos has been pocketing all these years while crying poor.

I'm not a lawyer, but unless I'm sorely mistaken, it's pretty rare that an arbitrators decision gets overturned. That means the Nats are due a big chunk of change, one that MASN doesn't seem to want to pay and has defaulted on while appealing. With the jump being from the cuurrent 29 mil to approx 100-120 I can understand MASN's lack of enthusiasm.
"Fair Market value,"that'll be fun to watch them determine.
Angelos may be on the verge of being thumped.
Course, being the type of lawyer that he is (Dogged as all get out and then some. He's a stubborn cuss)he won't wanna give one inch.
Not that I think Bud would ever let real financial disclosures come out in court, but boy, I would love to see this one get slugged out.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4759962)
Bewigged Satan vs Asbestos Pete vs Natitude

I guess Nats win my rooting interest by default.
   3. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4759963)
This was always fated to end up in court at some point. Angelos never had any intention at all of paying the Nationals anything like a fair value, and why should he, when he knows that Selig doesn't have the balls to do anything to him.
   4. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4759970)
Seems to me that Angelos made a mistake if he thought he could give the Nationals a screwjob forever and ever. A huge mistake. If that was his view he would have been better off not allowing them to move or demanded a huge payoff to let them move.
   5. joeysdadjoe Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4759971)
Make him send Machado to DC
   6. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:33 PM (#4759972)
Hall then accused Selig and the MLB of improper financial motives. "Not only does Baseball have approximately a 34 percent financial interest in every dollar steered toward telecast rights fees and away from MASN's profits under the Revenue Sharing Plan, but also, in 2013 … the Commissioner privately paid $25 million to the Nationals, entering into an agreement with the Club, through which Baseball would recoup those funds from the monies to be paid under the RSDC award at issue here."

???
   7. toratoratora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4759973)
the Commissioner privately paid $25 million to the Nationals

When I read that, my first thought was, "Can't wait to see what YR has to say about this."
   8. McCoy Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4759974)
Bud Selig's slush fund, baby.

People like to call Selig the consensus builder. Well, how do you think he does that? Money, that's how.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4759979)
I wouldn't bet against Angelos. He may be a terrible MLB owner, but he's a terrific litigator.
   10. boteman Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4759986)
That $25 Million is essentially hush money to keep the Lerners from taking action against Angelos in this matter. I guess it wasn't enough?
   11. toratoratora Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4759987)
I wouldn't bet against Angelos. He may be a terrible MLB owner, but he's a terrific litigator.

Generally I'd agree. Especially since he's the sort of person who the more he gets pushed around, the deeper he digs in.
Caught between an arbitrators ruling and Bud, this may not be a battle he can win though.

Besides, does anyone really think Bud would ever let real financial details come out in court?
   12. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4759989)
Seems to me that Angelos made a mistake if he thought he could give the Nationals a screwjob forever and ever. A huge mistake.

I don't know; in the meantime he gets to sign free agents like Nelson Cruz with the additional profits he's making off the Nationals.

Also, the creep is 85 years old. There's a significant chance he won't even be alive by the time this finally gets resolved in the courts.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4760002)
I don't see how Angelo's can refuse to pay the amount the arbitration panel set as fair market value for the Nationals' TV rights. He may not like it, but by refusing to pay he would seem to be in direct violation of the MASN agreement and MLB Constitution, opening the door to dissolving the agreement and letting the Nationals seek their own TV deal. If Selig doesn't want this in court, he needs to act to enforce arbitration decision.
   14. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4760003)
I wouldn't bet against Angelos. He may be a terrible MLB owner, but he's a terrific litigator.
Disagree. He made his career by representing a union at the right point in time where he could latch onto asbestos litigation on their behalf. Okay, make of that what you will. And then made a bunch more money by using his political connections to bite off a chunk of the tobacco litigation; there was no litigation skill there. He made lots of money as a litigator, but what did he ever do to suggest he had some unusually potent litigation skill?

(He's managed to humiliate himself several times in the context of baseball by licking fights with players that he couldn't win, from Sidney Ponson to Xavier Hernandez.)
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4760004)
This is like the McCourts' divorce battle squared. I guess the happiest conclusion would be a twist ending, say the money they battled over was stored badly and it has all been eaten by rats and everybody loses.
   16. Srul Itza Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4760011)
He's managed to humiliate himself several times in the context of baseball by licking fights with players


Yeah, that sounds both disgusting and humiliating.
   17. Brian C Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4760024)
He made lots of money as a litigator, but what did he ever do to suggest he had some unusually potent litigation skill?

Even if he does, though ... he's so old. And the world is full of old men who aren't what they used to be.

And besides, one part of being a good litigator is knowing when you've got a fight you can't win. What reason would anyone have to think that he's skillful enough to win this fight? Just because he's stubborn?

Also, the linked article seems like a genuinely solid piece of actual journalism. Rare to see these days.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4760033)
Also, the linked article seems like a genuinely solid piece of actual journalism. Rare to see these days.

Well, it seems that someone leaked some of the written communications between MLB, the Orioles & the Nationals, but beyond that there doesn't seem to be that much to the article. It doesn't even indicate how much the arbitration panel awarded the Nationals, other than it was more than Angelos wants to pay.
   19. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 29, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4760035)
Angelos isn't going to be one of the guys arguing in court for crying out loud. My guess is that he probably hasn't set foot in a courtroom in years.
   20. Curse of the Andino Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4760099)
And besides, one part of being a good litigator is knowing when you've got a fight you can't win. What reason would anyone have to think that he's skillful enough to win this fight? Just because he's stubborn?


He wrecked some of the good feelings from 2012 when he got into a snit w/ the Ravens over a Thursday night start late last year. Super-Bowl Champ Baltimore got its ass kicked on the road on national TV in the first night of football in what rightfully should have been a triumphant home opener, and, guess who was most to blame in the eyes of the citizens of Charm City?
   21. boteman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4760166)
I don't know how motivated The Seligula would be to lean on Angelos to pay up. Remember, it was Hizzonerforlife Bud who schmoozed Angelos in the first place into relenting on fighting the Expos move to D.C. so at least on some level there might be a quid pro quo that Selig owes Angelos a solid.

I wonder if Selig is dipping into one of his Swiss bank accounts right about now to make this problem quiet down???
   22. Bhaakon Posted: July 30, 2014 at 05:38 AM (#4760213)
I don't know how motivated The Seligula would be to lean on Angelos to pay up. Remember, it was Hizzonerforlife Bud who schmoozed Angelos in the first place into relenting on fighting the Expos move to D.C. so at least on some level there might be a quid pro quo that Selig owes Angelos a solid.


Selig is on his way out the door, what does he care about repaying favors at this point? He can burn whatever bridge he pleases without fear of the consequences.
   23. boteman Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4760238)
Yeah, you're right. Selig is retiring. He would NEVER go back on his word.
   24. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4760250)
I don't know how motivated The Seligula would be to lean on Angelos to pay up. Remember, it was Hizzonerforlife Bud who schmoozed Angelos in the first place into relenting on fighting the Expos move to D.C. so at least on some level there might be a quid pro quo that Selig owes Angelos a solid.
Wait, the situation in which the Os/MASN have been exploiting the Nats for years was the quid pro quo.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4760251)
the Commissioner privately paid $25 million to the Nationals

When I read that, my first thought was, "Can't wait to see what YR has to say about this."


And golly, didn't I pick a good day to get back online. Good weather for cross-country driving but I'm sad I missed my first chance to attend a HOF induction weekend. Oh well, next year.

This tiny bit of disclosure isn't even the shard of the tip of the iceberg of Bud's chicanery. He's been allowed to confiscate hundreds of millions of dollars with absolute secrecy as to its use. I hope some day we'll get a proper accounting of how Bud used the total deference he was granted by MLB and its stooges to put his greasy thumb on the scales of fairplay.
   26. DKDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4760263)
I don't see how Angelo's can refuse to pay the amount the arbitration panel set as fair market value for the Nationals' TV rights. He may not like it, but by refusing to pay he would seem to be in direct violation of the MASN agreement and MLB Constitution, opening the door to dissolving the agreement and letting the Nationals seek their own TV deal. If Selig doesn't want this in court, he needs to act to enforce arbitration decision.


Without seeing the agreement, it’s impossible to say. Presumably there is some standard that the arbirtration panel would be held to in order to ensure it was a fair process, but we don’t know what that standard is, and we don’t know how the panel was conducted, or what their findings were, or really any of the details.

Ultimately this is a bunch of rich guys fighting over money, and it’s in all of their best interest to solve this before it goes off the rails. They will come to an agreement after some brinkmanship.

To me the most interesting part is that at least one of the partied decided that airing a little dirty laundry is in their best interest, and my guess is that it was Angelos.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4760303)
Disagree. He made his career by representing a union at the right point in time where he could latch onto asbestos litigation on their behalf. Okay, make of that what you will. And then made a bunch more money by using his political connections to bite off a chunk of the tobacco litigation; there was no litigation skill there. He made lots of money as a litigator, but what did he ever do to suggest he had some unusually potent litigation skill?

(He's managed to humiliate himself several times in the context of baseball by licking fights with players that he couldn't win, from Sidney Ponson to Xavier Hernandez.)


The only good thing you can say about Angelos is that in recent years he's finally stopped interfering with his baseball people, and for the first time since the 90's the Orioles are an exciting team to watch. Better late than never.

Between Angelos and the Lerners, I don't give a #### who's screwing whom out of what percentage of a cable slush fund. From a fan's POV all I know is that I can get to see either the O's or the Nats just by flipping the channel, and that both teams have a good shot at winding up in the postseason.
   28. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4760360)
Ultimately this is a bunch of rich guys fighting over money, and it’s in all of their best interest to solve this before it goes off the rails.

Except as I already said, Angelos is 85 years old. It's really NOT in his interest to simply fork over the money, it's more in his interest to keep pocketing the extra money and drawing out the fight as long as he can while he runs out the clock.
   29. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4760508)
Except as I already said, Angelos is 85 years old. It's really NOT in his interest to simply fork over the money, it's more in his interest to keep pocketing the extra money and drawing out the fight as long as he can while he runs out the clock.
Why, so he can line his coffin with it?

When the team ultimately loses, they're going to have to fork over all of the money. Angelos dragging things out only adds to the interest on that money.
   30. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4760516)
But what the settlement agreement had to say about the years following 2011 is what's now got professional baseball in open court.
Per the terms of the settlement, beginning in 2012 MASN had to pay the Nationals "fair market value." The TV station balked, and so an arbitration hearing commenced in April before a panel comprising the chief operating officer of the New York Mets, the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the owner of the Tampa Bay Rays. Some of this has been previously reported. The Nationals reportedly got $29 million per year under the old TV contract and wanted it bumped up to somewhere between $100 million and $120 million per year.


Wait, the situation in which the Os/MASN have been exploiting the Nats for years was the quid pro quo.


I'm baffled that the O's would want to take this dispute to a court- there's a very real chance that a court would simply tell the O's/MASN/Nats that the O's/MASN don't have to pay the Nats what the Nats are looking for, and the Nats don't have to take what the Os are offering... the Nats can sign a TV deal with anyone they want... territorial rights? territorial rights? what are those? I guess it's analogous to anon-compete, you had one until 2011...
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4760539)
I guess the happiest conclusion would be a twist ending, say the money they battled over was stored badly and it has all been eaten by rats and everybody loses.


Can we change it to Angelos and Selig getting eaten by the rats instead?
   32. donlock Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4760622)
Hard to believe the Nationals' media rights are worth over $100 million. We assume that the Orioles' rights must be worth at least that or more. The teams share a limited tv market, with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to the West and North and no real population centers to the east (Atlantic Ocean) or south past Virginia suburbs.

The banks, gas stations and grocery stores pretty much are the same. A buyer is merely duplicating ads by running them on both networks. DC and Baltimore are not like Chicago, LA or NY with huge populations. Might be a better model with San Francisco/Oakland. Wonder how their markets and revenues compare?
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4760657)
Hard to believe the Nationals' media rights are worth over $100 million. We assume that the Orioles' rights must be worth at least that or more. The teams share a limited tv market, with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to the West and North and no real population centers to the east (Atlantic Ocean) or south past Virginia suburbs.

The banks, gas stations and grocery stores pretty much are the same. A buyer is merely duplicating ads by running them on both networks. DC and Baltimore are not like Chicago, LA or NY with huge populations. Might be a better model with San Francisco/Oakland. Wonder how their markets and revenues compare?


Nielson pegs the Bay Area market at 2.52 million TV homes. Washington's is estimated at 2.41 million and Baltimore's at 1.08 million, which in MLB markets puts it ahead of San Diego, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Cincinnati, and just behind Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Washington's market is behind only New York's and Philadelphia's in the NL East, while Baltimore's is far and away the smallest in the AL East, over 40% below Tampa/St. Pete.
   34. donlock Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4760664)
Good information. The other part of the question is what do the teams mentioned get in tv rights.
   35. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4760675)
As a Combined Statistical Area, Washington-Baltimore rivals Chicago.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4760695)
The banks, gas stations and grocery stores pretty much are the same. A buyer is merely duplicating ads by running them on both networks.

Not that many viewers regularly watch both the Orioles & Nationals, and those that do would mostly just be in DC's Maryland suburbs which latched on to the Orioles to a greater degree than others parts of the Washington area during the long baseball hiatus.
   37. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4760708)
As a Combined Statistical Area, Washington-Baltimore rivals Chicago.

Man, that would be one large zip code.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4760754)
Not that many viewers regularly watch both the Orioles & Nationals, and those that do would mostly just be in DC's Maryland suburbs which latched on to the Orioles to a greater degree than others parts of the Washington area during the long baseball hiatus.

That's probably true. I start with the O's and the Yanks as my default game and switch to the Nats during station breaks, but when there's no O's or Yanks game on, I will watch the Nats.

OTOH almost everyone else I know in the area sticks to either the O's or the Nats almost exclusively. One friend I know switched directly from an O's mini-plan to a Nats mini-plan as soon as DC got a team, and has only been to a tiny handful of O's games ever since.
   39. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 30, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4760774)
Why, so he can line his coffin with it?

The only real thing he has left to accomplish for his "legacy" at this point is to be able to say that he owned a World Series championship team, which would also have a dramatic impact on the way he is generally viewed, even by Orioles fans. Every extra million dollars in revenue he can take in is an extra million dollars he can spend to try to help make that happen in however many years he has left.

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