Author Topic: Will MLB force the Angelos family to sell the Nats TV rights to the Lerners?  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline Senatorswin

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Is there anything to suggest that the lerners have 7 owners willing to strong arm Angelos?

The article did mention Angelos is not a favorite of most of the owners.

Nice article.

Online Natsinpwc

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If they block the sale and Rubenstein walks away they are stuck with the Angelo’s family and MASN.  Best to let it go ahead and appeal to Ribensrein’s common sense.  MASN isn’t making much money for anyone.

Online Natsinpwc

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The article did mention Angelos is not a favorite of most of the owners.

Nice article.
So they would block a sale to a new guy so the team stay with the Angelos family?  Makes no sense to me. 

Offline 1995hoo

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Adding the O's and Nats to his network of teams that people don't watch would be a master stroke. Somehow, I doubt he's dumb enough to double down on an RSN just as they are fading away

What are the teams people don’t watch?

Offline Slateman

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They're not blocking the sale.

Offline Senatorswin

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So they would block a sale to a new guy so the team stay with the Angelos family?  Makes no sense to me.

I don't think the article was saying block the sale. This from the article:

"If the Lerners can get at least seven other owners on their side, they can make this very difficult for Angelos and the Rubenstein Group. But it will take leverage, and calling in favors. Any action will need current commissioner Rob Manfred to make this right. Our source thinks if the Lerners can get ahead of this, they will get what they want before the team is officially sold. Are the Lerners ready for this or will they be passive and just step aside?"

Online Natsinpwc

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I don't think the article was saying block the sale. This from the article:

"If the Lerners can get at least seven other owners on their side, they can make this very difficult for Angelos and the Rubenstein Group. But it will take leverage, and calling in favors. Any action will need current commissioner Rob Manfred to make this right. Our source thinks if the Lerners can get ahead of this, they will get what they want before the team is officially sold. Are the Lerners ready for this or will they be passive and just step aside?"
Their only way to get anything is to threaten to block the sale.  Why would Rubenstein want to give them anything?  I think this is just idle conjecture.

Offline Slateman

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Idle conjecture seems to be all we have this offseason

Online PowerBoater69

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I don't think the article was saying block the sale. This from the article:

"If the Lerners can get at least seven other owners on their side, they can make this very difficult for Angelos and the Rubenstein Group. But it will take leverage, and calling in favors. Any action will need current commissioner Rob Manfred to make this right. Our source thinks if the Lerners can get ahead of this, they will get what they want before the team is officially sold. Are the Lerners ready for this or will they be passive and just step aside?"

I'm hopeful but not optimistic that the Os sale ends up benefitting the Nats. I know it won't happen without the Lerners fighting for compensation for years of legal fees and delayed payments. It just seems that whatever is good for the Orioles is bad for the Nats and that's what I see here.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Idle conjecture seems to be all we have this offseason
maybe MASN can do a show, "Nationals Idle," about how signing Robert Gsellman to a minor league contract is the 4th biggest move of the off-season.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I'm hopeful but not optimistic that the Os sale ends up benefitting the Nats. I know it won't happen without the Lerners fighting for compensation for years of legal fees and delayed payments. It just seems that whatever is good for the Orioles is bad for the Nats and that's what I see here.
I'm thinking the article about the positive relationship between Rubinstein and Leonsis as well as Rubinstein's DC orientation with Carlyle might mean he's willing to deal as long as it's with a business man and not a lawyer or real estate guy.

Offline Mattionals

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I'm thinking the article about the positive relationship between Rubinstein and Leonsis as well as Rubinstein's DC orientation with Carlyle might mean he's willing to deal as long as it's with a business man and not a lawyer or real estate guy.
This is what I'm hanging on to. I think we all kind of understand that this team will be Ted Leonsis's at some point, and he is holding fast to not inheriting a team with a crap TV deal, especially since he himself owns a TV network. The Orioles not being in the hands of the Angelos is something that can only be seen as a positive for EVERYONE in the sport of baseball. We just all need to hold out hope that Rubenstein and Leonsis can come to some sort of agreement and then Leonsis will increase his bid (because now the Nats REAL value is closer to what the Lerner family is asking) and then we all can move forward.

Offline HalfSmokes

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This is what I'm hanging on to. I think we all kind of understand that this team will be Ted Leonsis's at some point, and he is holding fast to not inheriting a team with a crap TV deal, especially since he himself owns a TV network. The Orioles not being in the hands of the Angelos is something that can only be seen as a positive for EVERYONE in the sport of baseball. We just all need to hold out hope that Rubenstein and Leonsis can come to some sort of agreement and then Leonsis will increase his bid (because now the Nats REAL value is closer to what the Lerner family is asking) and then we all can move forward.


Any agreement will mean paying to Orioles a lot of money for the National's tv rights. They are not giving up something that valuable for nothing. I don't see the Lerners wanting to pay that kind of money and I don't see them accepting a sale price that devalues the team by the kind of money

Offline Mattionals

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Any agreement will mean paying to Orioles a lot of money for the National's tv rights. They are not giving up something that valuable for nothing. I don't see the Lerners wanting to pay that kind of money and I don't see them accepting a sale price that devalues the team by the kind of money
The question here is does it not make more sense to just have Rubenstein negotiate with Leonsis and have a ratified and market correct agreement that dissolves MASN and gives fair revenue to the Orioles through TV money. Right now operating MASN is cutting into the bottom line of getting the TV money, so why not be rid of the albatross and make the same money even though you don't "own" the TV rights to he Nationals?

Offline HalfSmokes

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The question here is does it not make more sense to just have Rubenstein negotiate with Leonsis and have a ratified and market correct agreement that dissolves MASN and gives fair revenue to the Orioles through TV money. Right now operating MASN is cutting into the bottom line of getting the TV money, so why not be rid of the albatross and make the same money even though you don't "own" the TV rights to he Nationals?


Monumental getting the TV rights is not the same as the rights reverting to the nats. If anything, him getting the rights through Rubenstein makes Leonsis less likely to buy the team

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Any agreement will mean paying to Orioles a lot of money for the National's tv rights. They are not giving up something that valuable for nothing. I don't see the Lerners wanting to pay that kind of money and I don't see them accepting a sale price that devalues the team by the kind of money
yabut the give here is to not organize opposition to approval of the sale. Sure, the Os will get paid, but there's a way to be reasonable. There's just too much bucks on the table to quibble over a declining revenue stream like the difference in TV rights at this point. It's what, maybe $10 million a year between what they get under the MASN deal (equal to DC) vs. what they get on their own (a bit less than the $50-60 million on the next reset).

Offline nfotiu

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They could probably just agree to let MASN die out with the RSN model.   It's not going to be the primary way to watch baseball for more than 2-3 years, and will be pretty much done as a significant revenue stream.

If they can just make sure they are positioned to have independence over streaming or be a part of a bigger mlb streaming package, then it is all not worth bickering over.

Having all the past resets settled is good enough to not be a big blocker on the sale of either team now.   

Offline nfotiu

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I see this today as well.   They are probably likely to make a deal.   But, Comcast has been holding strong against RSNs lately, so maybe not.   

I do remember that Comcast was legally mandated to carry MASN at market rate for anti-trust conditions on owning their own RSN.   Now that they don't own a RSN in the territory, I'd imagine that is no longer the case?

If they lose Comcast, they will surely be under water in terms of payments.   MASN doesn't have a whole lot of room to negotiate, since these agreements have most favored nation clauses that would also reduce the amount Directv is paying, etc. 

https://tvanswerman.com/2024/02/01/could-comcast-soon-lose-masn-due-to-a-carriage-dispute/


Offline HalfSmokes

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They could probably just agree to let MASN die out with the RSN model.   It's not going to be the primary way to watch baseball for more than 2-3 years, and will be pretty much done as a significant revenue stream.

If they can just make sure they are positioned to have independence over streaming or be a part of a bigger mlb streaming package, then it is all not worth bickering over.

Having all the past resets settled is good enough to not be a big blocker on the sale of either team now.   

They don't own their own rights. Would anyone be surprised if the Os try to claim the Nats share of an MLB package and then pay them for it via the masn agreement?

Offline HalfSmokes

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I see this today as well.   They are probably likely to make a deal.   But, Comcast has been holding strong against RSNs lately, so maybe not.   

I do remember that Comcast was legally mandated to carry MASN at market rate for anti-trust conditions on owning their own RSN.   Now that they don't own a RSN in the territory, I'd imagine that is no longer the case?

If they lose Comcast, they will surely be under water in terms of payments.   MASN doesn't have a whole lot of room to negotiate, since these agreements have most favored nation clauses that would also reduce the amount Directv is paying, etc. 

https://tvanswerman.com/2024/02/01/could-comcast-soon-lose-masn-due-to-a-carriage-dispute/



Best case scenario is that MASN loses Comcast and can't afford the payments. The Nats might be able to emerge with a better deal as a bankruptcy creditor

Offline nfotiu

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They don't own their own rights. Would anyone be surprised if the Os try to claim the Nats share of an MLB package and then pay them for it via the masn agreement?

MLB streaming rights are hard to understand and I've never read anything about who owns the Nats and Os.   MLB has made a point of keeping them separate from TV rights and weren't allowing any TV rights deals to include streaming rights except by waiver for tv everywhere type apps.   Then at one point, MLB gave them to the team, but was annoyed when some of the teams sold their rights to Bally's, and put the brakes on anyone else selling them to them.   

It seems pretty unclear whether MASN owns the rights other than by waiver for their tv everywhere app that requires a cable or equivalent bundle.   If they did, they'd likely offer a standalone $20-30/month thing.

MLB has said they want to package as many of the local streaming rights together as they can, so wouldn't be surprised if the Os sale included language that the Nats and Os will be part of that, so it doesn't end up in a big legal battle down the road.

Offline Senatorswin

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Something is wrong when a team like the Phillies makes more than twice as much on local TV than the Nats. This extra money pays for Harper's and Turner's salaries with $12 million left over. It's not a level playing field when teams like the Dodgers and Yankees can spend so much more partially due to so much more local money.


Online Natsinpwc

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Something is wrong when a team like the Phillies makes more than twice as much on local TV than the Nats. This extra money pays for Harper's and Turner's salaries with $12 million left over. It's not a level playing field when teams like the Dodgers and Yankees can spend so much more partially due to so much more local money.
Well to get more money you would have to have people actually watch the games on TV.  Here is an article on 2022 viewership.  Phillies were coming off of ten years out of the playoffs and still had high ratings. There is not as much interest in the DMV as you may think.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-rsns-most-viewed-local-programming


Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Plus they just sit around gorging themselves in front of the TV, only taking breaks to go to the package store - of course the ratings are higher  :P

Online Natsinpwc

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Plus they just sit around gorging themselves in front of the TV, only taking breaks to go to the package store - of course the ratings are higher  :P
And now they have Uber Eats so no need to go to the store.

So many very important people in the DMV with more vital things to do than watching baseball on TV.