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Rights fee dispute between Nationals, Orioles could be resolved by 2015

Rights fee dispute between Nationals, Orioles could be resolved by 2015 Photo:

The four-year battle over right fees from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles could be resolved by early next year, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said at the annual BBWAA luncheon Tuesday.

Selig is set to retire in January 2015 and said he was optimistic a deal could be struck before then to avoid a court battle.

MASN is controlled mostly by the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos, who agreed to give up territorial rights in exchange for the rights to broadcast Nationals games when the team moved from Montreal in 2005.

“We’ve spent an enormous amount of time,” Selig said, via the Washington Post. “We’re working through a lot of really tough detail. When you have two clubs that have differences of opinions, they’re very complex subjects. My objective is to keep away from what used to go in this sport, where you had owners fighting owners publicly. So we’re working through a lot of difficulty. I’m satisfied we’re at least moving in the right direction."​

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Currently holding a 15 percent stake in MASN, the Nationals will receive a one percent increase each year until they reach 30 percent. 

The Nationals are seeking between $100 million and $120 million per year from the deal. Washington received $29 million in 2012, and the amount would have increased to $37 million last season with an $8 million equity stake payment.

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