New MASN Filing Exposes The Profits Retained by the Orioles!

This morning Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal was putting out new information on the MASN dispute.

He writes: “MASN late last night filed a large series of new documents opposing Nationals’ bid to have long-running media dispute reheard by MLB RSDC.  Not much is said about last month’s MASN mediation efforts beyond that they were “unsuccessful.” MASN goes on, calling Nats motion “premature, misdirected, and baseless,” restates claims of RSDC bias. MASN also attacks Nats’ prior claim of “burdensome” rights underpayment, citing club’s rising franchise value, payroll.

MASN in docs again argues Nats’ rights fees complaints ignore asset value, profits of net itself. Nats got $9.6M in MASN profits in ‘15. Nats in January then filed their own motion to have matter sent back to the RSDC

To review, original MASN RSDC ruling has been vacated. MASN in Dec filed notice of limited appeal to have case sent to new forum. MASN: Nats mischaracterizes material documents and exaggerates claims of financial and competitive harm.”

The following is a snapshot of Section 21 of the MASN agreement which gives the partnership and profit percentages, and 2015 was owned 16% by the Nationals and 84% by the Orioles.

MASN_Ownership 16percent 2015

To use some algebra to figure out who got what based on the 2015 profit stated, it then exposes what the Orioles received based on the original MASN ownership and profit agreement. Did Angelos really want his profit on MASN made public? How much has he made on MASN in the 11+ years of ownership and where has that money gone? Should Orioles fans be upset by these revelations?

If the claims are accurate that the Nationals made $9.6 million in 2015 based on 16% ownership, the rest of the equation according to the Sports Business Journal filing, “Nats got $9.6M in MASN profits in ‘15” would mean the Orioles then received a staggering profit of $50,400,000 for just 2015 and indicate that MASN made $60,000,000 in profits in 2015.

The Nationals did not claim these numbers. These numbers are coming from the Orioles side. We already got a Tweet from someone who came to the same conclusion. Profits are usually a closely held secret. Previous court documents disclosed profits of $6.1 million (Orioles retained 90% of the profit) in 2007, $31.9 million (Orioles retained 90% of the profit) in 2008, $32.7 million (Orioles retained 90% of the profit) in 2009, $44.0 million (Orioles retained 89% of the profit) in 2010 and $51.1 million (Orioles retained 88% of the profit) in 2011. We don’t know what the profits were in 2012, 2013, and 2014; however, you can make a good educated guess that profit might have been between $51.1 million to $60 million for those other 3 years.

Will the MLB owners close the current loophole in the new CBA that gives a team like the Orioles the ability to exclude their MASN profit from the revenue sharing provisions? Right now the Orioles are considered under the current CBA as a small-to-mid market team which could allow them to actually receive a revenue share from the wealthiest teams. It also allows the Orioles to get extra draft picks after the 1st round picks are made in what MLB calls the “competitive balance round”. Is this fair?

Did the Orioles decide to spend on payroll this year because they knew their MASN profits would become public information?

The book, Lawyerball, will certainly need new chapters and our many articles on this subject can be found by using the  TalkNats search button and typing in MASN.


This current MASN reset period in dispute is for the years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The next 5 year reset begins after this current season. The Nationals received $20 million for each of 2005 and 2006, $25 million for 2007, $26 million for 2008, $27 million for 2009, $28 million for 2010, and $29 million for 2011.

If you want some night-time reading, try this:

For some more reading, former Orioles credentialed media member Nestor Aparicio wrote this scathing piece on the drama

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