The Nationals and Orioles have been battling over rights fees from their jointly-owned MASN network for years. Things have really come to a head this year, with new allegations, multiple rulings and appeals, and now, finally, something that could be final: a New York Supreme Court decision in favor of the Nationals.
Via the Associated Press:
A judge has confirmed an arbitration decision from baseball executives ordering the Washington Nationals to be paid $296.8 million by the cable network they jointly own with the Baltimore Orioles for their television rights from 2012-16.
That’s a lot of money, but it gets better (from a Nationals perspective and/or from a laughing at Peter Angelos perspective), as the court also ruled the Nationals are owed interest on that sum.
The Orioles had asked New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen to reject the arbitration decision, arguing that the executives on the arbitration panel were compromised by conflicts of interest. But Cohen said there was no reason to throw out the arbitrators’ award, and he also ruled Thursday that the Nationals were entitled to interest on the money they have yet to be paid. The question of how much interest the Nationals are owed will be decided by a court official known as a special referee clerk.
The Orioles may end up trying to fight this even further, but at this point it’s tough to see much of a way out of paying the Nationals their money. Angelos has never been happy with having to share what had been his team’s exclusive broadcast territory in the Mid-Atlantic, and this certainly isn’t going to help.