The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network may soon have to pay up.
However, the Nats won't really get the nearly $100 million payout. MASN must restate its financial results for the five-year period covered in the ruling. With MASN paying more in rights fees there is less available for profits, and Barker reports, after the adjustments, Washington would net about $60 to $70 million.
And MASN, which is owned by the two franchises with the Baltimore controlling 79 percent to Washington's 21 percent, may still appeal the arbitration panel's decision to the courts. However, it is uncertain if MASN and the Orioles will do so.
“The issue of MASN TV rights is of great concern to me for its potential negative impact on the Orioles, the City of Baltimore, and the State of Maryland,” Hogan wrote.
The present dispute, in its sixth year, dates to a 2005 agreement the Orioles reached with MLB which allowed the Baltimore franchise to take the majority share of MASN's profits permanently after losing the Washington TV market when the Nats arrived from Montreal.
The Nationals have described the current MASN structure as “heavily lopsided” in the Orioles' favor.