In a Friday afternoon tweet from Jim Bowden, the MASN cash debate started again with many O’s and Nats fans commenting back to Bowden. Can the Orioles afford to sign Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Davis? Probably and Chris Davis signed for 7 years and $161 million and we will see if they sign Cespedes also. According to Jim Bowden, “should be enuf to sign Davis/Cespedes”:
MASN now worth over 2B. Angelos gets 60% of Nats TV deal @60m..plus own rights fees…well over 200M…should be enuf to sign Davis/Cespedes
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) January 15, 2016
That 60% figure quoted by Bowden is way off as it’s much larger. We know from court documents (pictured below) that in 2014 the Nats ownership interest was only 15% making the 2015 ownership interest 16% as the Nats ownership interest in MASN grows at 1% per year until they reach 33% ownership 17 years from now. For 2016, the Nats will own 17% of MASN. Bowden thinks MASN is worth over $2 billion. MASN is worth whatever somebody will pay for it and rumors have said that is well in excess of $1 billion.
One aspect of this agreement that many probably didn’t know is that the Nationals had to pay $75 million for their initial 10% interest in MASN. Wouldn’t that have valued MASN over 10 years ago at $750,000,000? Based on RSN values skyrocketing, maybe Jim Bowden’s $2 billion estimate isn’t too out-of-line.
@JimBowden_ESPN @60M Thank you Jim. Us O's fans have said for years the O's can afford to spend more than they do and Angelos is cheap.
— Aaron C (@Os_and_BOHs) January 15, 2016
Os and BOHs fan isn’t happy with Angelos it would seem. Guess what, neither are Washington Nationals fans.
This happens to be a double edged sword for Angelos with his “crying poor” mantra that if he signs both Chris Davis and Yoenis Cespedes that eyebrows will be raised to how he has the money to do that which many just laugh at because of course he does, but it ruins the narrative that he can’t pay the Nationals more because he doesn’t have the cash.
With Angelos and group as the majority shareholders, they make the operational decisions, and made Peter Angelos’ son John P. Angelos the President of MASN . Wouldn’t you like to know the salaries being paid to Angelos family and friends from the operating budget of MASN? The Nats share in the profit from whatever is left after payroll, bonuses, etc. for operating costs. Since MASN isn’t publicly traded, we will never know all the paychecks and bonuses written unless it becomes court documents and it’s surprising that the Nats have never had those as part of the public record.
As Nats fans, we should be disgusted by the continued MASN saga. The fate of future signings depend on this MASN cashflow, and for anyone wanting to see Bryce Harper wearing the Nats Curly W for life, you better hope this gets resolved sooner than later in the Nationals favor. The Nats seem to be structuring most deals since Scherzer and as we saw with Daniel Murphy with cash deferrals as well as some of the proposed free agent deals like Jayson Heyward we heard had major cash deferrals as part of the proposal. This could support points we made last year that the Nats had a negative cashflow in 2015.
Adam Kilgore wrote this 2 months ago in the Washington Post:
“Television contracts play a major role in the sport’s finances, which for the Nationals prevents an obstacle. They suffered a major setback last month in their legal fight with MASN and the Baltimore Orioles over how much money they should receive in rights fees. Their television contract with the Orioles, put into place by Major League Baseball before the Lerners purchased the team, ensures they cannot reap profits from their rights fees as much as other teams in their situation could.
The fate of MASN and Harper are intertwined. It’s why Boras, in December 2014, attended one of the New York Supreme Court hearings in New York regarding MASN.”
We will post updates as we have them.
UPDATE 10:15AM 1/16/16: This is interesting stuff from Angelos number 1 critic Nestor Aparicio. Nestor is with WNST and he got his credentials pulled 8 years ago.
@zacht6490 @JimBowden_ESPN @60M MASN money Part 1: https://t.co/EvBcsEGagl Part 2: https://t.co/jpzQpHSQvM @WNST #Orioles facts here!
— Nestor Aparicio (@NestorAparicio) January 16, 2016