Major League Baseball Panel Slashes National TV Rights Value due to Conflict with Orioles
A Major League Baseball panel said in a hearing over the prolonged issue between Baltimore Orioles and National that the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network should pay Washington amount of worth $296.8 million for the TV rights from 2012 to 2016. The case was filed due to conflict over amount both cable channels should receive.
The panel has currently slashed the price from $298.1 against the previous decision of the New York court that was announced. However, Orioles are still working towards abandoning the current decision of the panel because they believe that a different magistrate should investigate the matter.
Decision consisting of 48 pages was issued by Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee of Major League Baseball’s on April 15 and was opened on Tuesday in New York Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Washington in previous month filed for a motion asking the New York court to affirm the arbitration verdict. On the other side, Orioles are battling with the motion and expects the New York Court of Appeals to conclude the panel should reconsider the case.
MASN (Mid- Atlantic Sports Network) was launched in March 2005, after the Montreal Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals, they moved into the unique broadcast territory of Baltimore which was from 1972.
For the 10 percent stake, Washington had nearly paid $75 million to the network and Orioles were given higher partnership interest that started at 90 percent in MASN.
The deal between the clubs said that if there is any conflict, then it should be considered by the RSDC. The RSDC included three executive members from different clubs.
According to the deal, network’s payment rights was set to $20 million to each team in 2005 and 2006, the rights payments increased in 2007 to $25 million, and there was $1 million growth every year till 2011. The deal demanded to increase the National equity by 1 percent every year, which started after 2009, with a market cap of 33 percent.
From 2012 to 2016, MASN paid $196.5 million, what the Orioles had suggested, a minimum of $39.5 million. To this Washington objected and said it should receive $475 million, a minimum of $95 million.
The members included by RSDC panel were President of Pittsburg Pirates, Frank Coonelly, Principal and owner of Tampa Bay Ray, Stuart Sternberg and Chief Operating Officer of New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon. They conveyed their decision in 2014.
Responding to this decision, the Orioles filed a lawsuit, and a New York Supreme Court Justice rejected the decision of RSDC in 2015. Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court sent the decision back to the committee of RSDC and made them to rehear the case in November along with a new panel that consisted of Mark Attanasio chairman of Milwaukee Brewers, Kevin Mather, President of Seattle Mariners and Mark Shapiro, the president of Toronto Blue Jays.
However, Orioles believes that this decision should also be rejected.