In a break from persistent questions about the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred briefly addressed the Orioles and Nationals MASN dispute at a press conference Sunday.
Speaking at the Braves’ spring training facility, Manfred addressed the media — mostly about the Astros — but fielded one question about the Orioles and their ongoing litigation with the Nationals over the television network that covers them both.
“In terms of the MASN dispute, there’s an RSDC (Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee) ruling,” Manfred said. “There’s a sum of money that is due and owing. There’s some legal issues surrounding those payments that need to be resolved and I’m hopeful that once those back payments get made, we’ll get into a regular process for setting rights fees for both clubs and moving forward in a more business-like way.”
The Nationals, who came to Washington, D.C., in 2005, have been in dispute with the Orioles since 2012, when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement over how much money the Nationals should receive.
In late September 2019, The Baltimore Sun reported that the two sides were still about $30 million apart from an agreement. According to that same report, the Nationals received $41.5 million in profits during a five-year stretch from 2012-16. The Orioles received $234.8 million.
The original deal, which was set into place in 2005, heavily favored the Orioles. The Nationals’ stake in MASN was 10 percent and set to increase slowly until the year 2032.
Baltimore, which has won a combined 101 games in the last two seasons, is once again expected to find itself at the bottom of the standings. Washington is fresh off a World Series victory, its first in franchise history.
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