Home

Court Renders Split Decision In MASN Case, Largely Seen As Win For Nationals

Court Renders Split Decision In MASN Case, Largely Seen As Win For Nationals

Published

At some point, the Nationals will likely receive significantly more money from MASN
The appellate division of the New York Supreme Court on Thursday rendered a split decision in the ongoing MASN media rights case, leaving the Orioles-controlled RSN and the Nationals each claiming victory. The court ruled in a unanimous 5-0 vote to affirm a ’15 lower court ruling vacating a prior decision by MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee in favor of the Nationals. That affirmation represents a win for MASN and fully and historically overturns the original RSDC arbitration ruling. The court also ruled by a 3-2 vote to allow the Nationals to take the dispute back to the RSDC, which has since been reconstituted with a new set of team owners and presidents. With the original ruling now gone, there is not any new money coming to the Nationals (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). The AP's Ben Nuckols noted the teams are apart by more than $100M on the amount of money the Nationals "should receive for TV rights" in two five-year periods: '12-16 and '17-21. The RSDC now includes Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio, Mariners President & COO Kevin Mather and Blue Jays President & CEO Mark Shapiro (AP, 7/13).

HOW IT AFFECTS THE TEAMS: In Baltimore, Jeff Barker in a front-page piece notes the ruling was "not the outcome the Orioles proposed," as the club "wanted the case heard by a forum" outside MLB. The Orioles said that they "will appeal." More than $100M is "potentially at stake -- money that bears significantly on the two teams’ ability to attract free agents and retain their own stars." MASN has long argued that MLB has "stacked the deck" against the Orioles "in favor of the Nationals." The justices "agreed with with MASN’s assessment" (Baltimore SUN, 7/14). In DC, Chelsea Janes writes the Nationals "scored a rare victory in the ongoing legal battle." The team has "not seen many rulings in their favor during the MASN dispute, making this one something to celebrate." Should the arbitration "go back to the new-look RSDC, the Nationals seem likely to benefit from that financially" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/14). Also in DC, Barry Svrluga writes the Nationals got their "most significant victory of the season." At some point, they "likely will receive more money -- significantly more money" -- from MASN (WASHINGTON POST, 7/14).

Home