A Major League Baseball committee ruled the Washington Nationals are owed nearly $100 million by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, according to court filings that were made public Tuesday, marking the latest twist in a years-old dispute between the Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles over TV rights fees.
A three-member panel of baseball’s revenue sharing committee decided that MASN owed the Nationals around $59 million annually in TV rights fees for the years 2012-16, which is about $20 million more per year than the network has paid the team, according to court filings. MASN is owned by the Nationals and the Orioles, but is controlled by the Orioles, who retain an 80 percent stake.
The Orioles have informed the New York State Court that they intend to appeal the decision.
Nationals attorney Stephen Neuwirth wrote to the court in a letter dated May 6 that the Nationals are harmed by the delay in payments.
“The Nationals have an intense interest in receiving prompt payment of the sums they are owed, which may be invested in player contracts and other significant cash expenses that the Nationals must bear,” he wrote.
According to a person with knowledge of the MASN payments, the Nationals would not receive the full $100 million, but something closer to $60 million-$70 million once MASN’s profits were adjusted.