Author Topic: Will MLB force the Angelos family to sell the Nats TV rights to the Lerners?  (Read 1618 times)

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Offline HalfSmokes

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What does that mean for the Nats, if that were to happen?

They get to sue Ted every reset cycle instead of Rubinstein

Offline Slateman

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They get to sue Ted every reset cycle instead of Rubinstein

Suing a dead guy is more of a Chicago thing

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Suing a dead guy is more of a Chicago thing
I think he meant Leonsis.

Offline Slateman

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Oh crap, yea, I forgot that guy is names Ted too.

Is ownership gonna be like having a Tanner on the roster?

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Oh crap, yea, I forgot that guy is names Ted too.

Is ownership gonna be like having a Tanner on the roster?
ask Jake.

Online PowerBoater69

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What does that mean for the Nats, if that were to happen?

That's a heck of a good question.

The MASN contract calls for the rights fees to be determined by an MLB panel, which was just upheld in court, how would Leonsis expect to get a fair ruling from MLB? The last two rulings left little profit margin for MASN in order to maximize the rights fees, Leonsis definitely won't want that.

The Nats ownership rights of MASN increase 1% per year, how would that be calculated if MASN were sold?

Offline HalfSmokes

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That's a heck of a good question.

The MASN contract calls for the rights fees to be determined by an MLB panel, which was just upheld in court, how would Leonsis expect to get a fair ruling from MLB? The last two rulings left little profit margin for MASN in order to maximize the rights fees, Leonsis definitely won't want that.

The Nats ownership rights of MASN increase 1% per year, how would that be calculated if MASN were sold?

The whole company wouldn’t be sold, just the nat’s stake in it

Online PowerBoater69

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The whole company wouldn’t be sold, just the nat’s stake in it

I'm not sure what you are suggesting. The Nats would move to Monumental but the Os would remain on MASN?

Offline HalfSmokes

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I'm not sure what you are suggesting. The Nats would move to Monumental but the Os would remain on MASN?


The Os would sell their majority stake in MASN giving monumental control of both teams’ broadcast rights.

Online OfftheBat

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They get to sue Ted every reset cycle instead of Rubinstein

That's a heck of a good question.

The MASN contract calls for the rights fees to be determined by an MLB panel, which was just upheld in court, how would Leonsis expect to get a fair ruling from MLB? The last two rulings left little profit margin for MASN in order to maximize the rights fees, Leonsis definitely won't want that.

The Nats ownership rights of MASN increase 1% per year, how would that be calculated if MASN were sold?


Thanks PowerBoater, seems like if it were to happen, it'll open up a whole new can of worms, legally and financially

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Under the MASN set up, there's no shopping of the tv rights. It's all determined. Only way Leonsis gets a fair shake is if he owns a team or if he has a contract negotiated for X years up front

Online Five Banners

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Interesting:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/other/orioles-sale-mlb-commissioner-rob-manfred-could-see-masn-changes-hopes-for-quick-approval/ar-BB1hZRVv

“MLB has the power to require the Orioles to relinquish ownership of the Nationals’ television rights to complete the sale, the source added. It’s not yet clear whether MLB has decided to exercise that right.”

Offline imref

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There are also reports that Lerner and Rubenstein have already spoken, but who knows about what.

Online PowerBoater69

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There are also reports that Lerner and Rubenstein have already spoken, but who knows about what.

Combine the rosters and split the home games between DC and Baltimore.

Offline Slateman

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Interesting:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/other/orioles-sale-mlb-commissioner-rob-manfred-could-see-masn-changes-hopes-for-quick-approval/ar-BB1hZRVv

“MLB has the power to require the Orioles to relinquish ownership of the Nationals’ television rights to complete the sale, the source added. It’s not yet clear whether MLB has decided to exercise that right.”
They always did. Why would they though?

Nats broadcast revenue is the most valuable part of the Orioles. For MLB to come in and cut that would deflate the value. MLB isnt going to do that.

Online Five Banners

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They always did. Why would they though?

Nats broadcast revenue is the most valuable part of the Orioles. For MLB to come in and cut that would deflate the value. MLB isnt going to do that.

The network thing got in as a condition of sale to begin with. It would stand reason how there could be some sort of settlement that gives the Lerner group something that makes an eventual sale more appealing and less subject to perennial questions and contentions.

It could also have this matter resolved before all of the back-and-forth related to streaming plans kick off. One would think Manfred et al would deem a good franchise value here a worthwhile priority versus dragging on a quagmire for which he’s had a front row seat.

Having all of that cleaned up and resolved heading into larger media rights issue would figure to be of some value. If they can’t get extricated on that or some similar basis — even with the current players involved including Rubenstein — and would let the current situation proceed the same way because overall MASN value is MLB’s priority versus straighten out something that’s dragged them into court for years (sometimes and what may have seemed a threatening manner by one of the parties), that would be something. That doesn’t amount to a prediction that commonsense will prevail, but it would be nice 

Offline Natsinpwc

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MLB could not step in before because Angelos was a lunatic.  Now it can try and broker a deal.   I would think Rubenstein would rather focus on building a solid organization rather than fighting over low revenue local streaming rights.  We shall see. 

Offline Senatorswin

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The article doesn't say what prompted Manfred to discuss the MASN situation. If he was asked that's one thing but if he just broached the subject on his own that would mean he's already thinking about dissolving MASN.

Offline nfotiu

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They always did. Why would they though?

Nats broadcast revenue is the most valuable part of the Orioles. For MLB to come in and cut that would deflate the value. MLB isnt going to do that.

I don't see how it can be the most valuable part of the Os.  It made some them some good money over the last 15 or so years (if they didn't squander it all on legal fees), but ownership of MASN is virtually worthless going forward.   They won't have enough revenue to cover the rights fees to the teams in a year or a two, and it will likely be a liability past that. 

The network thing got in as a condition of sale to begin with. It would stand reason how there could be some sort of settlement that gives the Lerner group something that makes an eventual sale more appealing and less subject to perennial questions and contentions.

It could also have this matter resolved before all of the back-and-forth related to streaming plans kick off. One would think Manfred et al would deem a good franchise value here a worthwhile priority versus dragging on a quagmire for which he’s had a front row seat.

Having all of that cleaned up and resolved heading into larger media rights issue would figure to be of some value. If they can’t get extricated on that or some similar basis — even with the current players involved including Rubenstein — and would let the current situation proceed the same way because overall MASN value is MLB’s priority versus straighten out something that’s dragged them into court for years (sometimes and what may have seemed a threatening manner by one of the parties), that would be something. That doesn’t amount to a prediction that commonsense will prevail, but it would be nice 


That all makes a lot of sense to me as well.   The MASN situation isn't great for anyone at this point.   The easiest solution would be to peg the value of the rights as a percentage of revenue that allows MASN to see a modest profit as the RSN model circles the drain.   And combine that with committing both teams to Manfred's streaming plan.  https://theathletic.com/5261044/2024/02/08/mlb-streaming-package-2025-target/

That would tidy things up for both franchises and they could move forward with a lot less uncertainties and potential legal battles.

Offline HalfSmokes

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I don't see how it can be the most valuable part of the Os.  It made some them some good money over the last 15 or so years (if they didn't squander it all on legal fees), but ownership of MASN is virtually worthless going forward.   They won't have enough revenue to cover the rights fees to the teams in a year or a two, and it will likely be a liability past that.

That all makes a lot of sense to me as well.   The MASN situation isn't great for anyone at this point.   The easiest solution would be to peg the value of the rights as a percentage of revenue that allows MASN to see a modest profit as the RSN model circles the drain.   And combine that with committing both teams to Manfred's streaming plan.  https://theathletic.com/5261044/2024/02/08/mlb-streaming-package-2025-target/

That would tidy things up for both franchises and they could move forward with a lot less uncertainties and potential legal battles.

The contract resets. It may be a liability for a few years, but then the payout will lower. If MLB ever has to buy back rights in order to either take them in house or sell the league as a block, the O's will get the Nats' portion and then will have years to pay it out or they will have an argument that they should get the Nats' revenue in perpetuity to then distribute back to the nats after taking overhead. It's a miserable deal for the Nats. I hope our new owner is more litigious because their only leverage is constant litigation and discovery that will embarrass the league enough that they do something

Offline nfotiu

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The contract resets. It may be a liability for a few years, but then the payout will lower. If MLB ever has to buy back rights in order to either take them in house or sell the league as a block, the O's will get the Nats' portion and then will have years to pay it out or they will have an argument that they should get the Nats' revenue in perpetuity to then distribute back to the nats after taking overhead. It's a miserable deal for the Nats. I hope our new owner is more litigious because their only leverage is constant litigation and discovery that will embarrass the league enough that they do something

I don't even know how they'd pull the comparables to do a reset.   We got the Dodgers at 300 million.   Padres have no deal, but get a few million from MLB to get them by.  Other teams have been given their RSN for free to run themselves.  Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are still pulling in over 100 million.   Half the teams are in bankruptcy negotations with their RSN.   I'm sure the Os, Nats and MLB would all have incentive to come to an agreement that simplifies the agreement and gives them some certainty going forward.

When they drew up the deal, all the compensation to the O's was supposed to be an ownership stake in MASN with rights fees dwarfed by carriage fee revenues.  They miscalculated the meteoric rise of other team's deals combined with the early peaking of the carriage fee model, so there is really is little value left in the current arrangement.   It seemed Angelos saw value in being able to screw the Nats, but the new owners don't seem to care about that so far.   

I'd imagine Manfred sees teams equally sharing an in-market streaming package  amongst the teams that go in on it.   There wouldn't really be much for the Nats and Os to fight over if it goes that way.

Offline Slateman

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I don't see how it can be the most valuable part of the Os.  It made some them some good money over the last 15 or so years (if they didn't squander it all on legal fees), but ownership of MASN is virtually worthless going forward.   They won't have enough revenue to cover the rights fees to the teams in a year or a two, and it will likely be a liability past that. 

That all makes a lot of sense to me as well.   The MASN situation isn't great for anyone at this point.   The easiest solution would be to peg the value of the rights as a percentage of revenue that allows MASN to see a modest profit as the RSN model circles the drain.   And combine that with committing both teams to Manfred's streaming plan.  https://theathletic.com/5261044/2024/02/08/mlb-streaming-package-2025-target/

That would tidy things up for both franchises and they could move forward with a lot less uncertainties and potential legal battles.
We're not just talking about MASN. We're talking about the majority of revenue from a top 10 media market AND getting revenue sharing for not being a top 10 media market.

Unilaterally taking that away substantially devalues the franchise worth, which all the owners would strenuously object to.

Offline Natsinpwc

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We're not just talking about MASN. We're talking about the majority of revenue from a top 10 media market AND getting revenue sharing for not being a top 10 media market.

Unilaterally taking that away substantially devalues the franchise worth, which all the owners would strenuously object to.
I don’t think the Nats viewership numbers show that the rights are that valuable.  Did many folks watch even when the team was good?  As compared to the other top teams?

Offline Slateman

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I don’t think the Nats viewership numbers show that the rights are that valuable.  Did many folks watch even when the team was good?  As compared to the other top teams?

Rubenstein isnt just going to give it up. MASN is paying out 400+ million as restitution for what the Nationals were supposed to get. Seems like its worth something to me.

Offline nfotiu

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We're not just talking about MASN. We're talking about the majority of revenue from a top 10 media market AND getting revenue sharing for not being a top 10 media market.

Unilaterally taking that away substantially devalues the franchise worth, which all the owners would strenuously object to.
"We're talking about the majority of revenue from a top 10 media market" just sounds like a platitude with nothing to back it up.   MASN brought in 100s of millions of dollars per year by having a huge territory that includes Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, DC, some of West VA and some of a few other states, and collecting subscriber fees from all cable/sat subscribers in all those states.   Having 30-50,000 people watching games in DC is meaningless in terms of revenue.   The MASN deal backfired eventually as to not allow the O's much if any profit.   

So where is the value in the MASN deal to the O's going forward.   They will barely get any piece of Nats revenues going forward.