Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles split over MASN cable TV rights fee – The Post
Another overview about how Peter Angelos is trying to screw the Washington Nationals and their fans over the television rights he was wrongly granted in 2005. It is a decent article, but omits that Angelos kept Nats games off of most D.C. area cable systems until September 2006.
The Nationals are asking the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which is controlled by the Orioles and broadcasts both teams’ games, for between $100 million and $120 million per year, at least three times the $29 million they received last season, according to one person familiar with the proceedings. MASN proposed paying $34 million this season, according to another individual, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Good for the Nats going so high, because Angelos is just low-balling the hell out of the Nats here. Not surprisingly, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has passed on making a decision. His committee which includes representatives from the Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets has not reached a conclusion that Selig is comfortable with yet. That’s probably because their findings don’t favor Angelos. In practice, Selig has shown that he values Angelos, the Orioles and the Baltimore market more than the D.C. one. A commissioner should be neutral, but falling short of that, probably ought to look for the good of the sport overall. Is significantly stunting the economic potential of the D.C. team to protect the Baltimore one in the best interest of the sport? Selig would rather reward the bad behavior of Angelos than due what is in the best interest of the Nats and the league in general.
If and when the figure is reached (don’t count on it before the end of the World Series, Selig is as indecisive as a Yankees-Red Sox game is long) I expect it to be somewhere lower than the mid-range between what the Nats want and what Angelos wants. Technically, it’ll be a win for Angelos which will make Selig feel better. Angelos though, will probably still cry loudly about how “unfair” he’s been treated, as most coddled children do when they don’t get something exactly their way. I fully expect Angelos to wrap himself around the Baltimore and Maryland flag as some sort of champion of the city and state’s baseball fans. Of course, it’ll just be more duplicity from someone who is really saying “I don’t believe in these people” to support the team. Maybe he’s got a point — attendance in Baltimore isn’t exactly high right now. Either way though, his cowardice will shine through as always.
The interesting thing though is that the next round, five years from now, is the critical round. There may be new people in charge of both of the teams and the sport. The next commissioner might not believe in protectionism for Angelos. Let’s hope not.
BY THE WAY…
Nats TV ratings still spiking, now up 67 percent year-to-year, via Nielsen numbers. More on this tomorrow.
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) August 14, 2012