Judge rules in favor of Orioles in MASN TV rights dispute with Nationals

Wednesday November 4th, 2015

A New York judge has ruled in favor of the Orioles in their television rights dispute with the Nationals, according to court documents released Wednesday.

When the Nationals moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005, Baltimore owner Peter Angelos agreed to give up territorial rights in exchange for the right to broadcast Nationals games on his television network, MASN.

The Nationals own a minority stake in the network and receive rights payments to have their games shown on the network. But in 2012, the clubs were not able to reach an agreement on how much the Nationals would be compensated. 

An MLB arbitration panel sided with the Nationals in June 2014. The Orioles then filed a lawsuit, alleging that they would have to pay the Nationals an unfair amount of money to broadcast their games. 

The arbitration panel awarded the Nationals about $60 million per year in rights fees, which would have been a substantial increase from the $40 million they currently receive. The Orioles are also paid $40 million annually.

The judge’s ruling Wednesday threw out the arbitration decision.

The judge urged the parties use a third-party arbitration group to settle the matter.

- Dan Gartland

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