Nats-Orioles TV dispute has appellate court hearing March 14

The long-running television dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals is headed to an appeals court.

The Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court in Manhattan will hear arguments from each side for 15 minutes on March 14.

New York Supreme Court Justice Lawrence K. Marks in November 2015 threw out an arbitration decision that said the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is controlled by the Orioles, owes the Nationals about $298 million for the team's 2012-16 television rights. All sides appealed.

MASN was established in March 2005 after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and became the Nationals, moving into what had been Baltimore's exclusive broadcast territory since 1972. The Orioles were given a supermajority partnership interest in MASN, and when the parties could not agree on a rights fee for 2012-16, they appeared in April 2012 before baseball's three-man Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee, as required in the MASN agreement.

The RSDC issued its decision in 2014, and MASN and the Orioles sued, claiming the arbitration was improper because the law firm Proskauer Rose, which represented the Nationals, at times worked for MLB and the teams of all three arbitrators.

Marks issued a stay last July preventing the RSDC from holding a rehearing, pending determination of the appeal.

Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin is to argue for MASN and the Orioles, and Paul Clement for Major League Baseball. Clement represented the NFL before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which last year reinstated the league's four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady.

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