Sources: Orioles Support Bortz Formula For Nationals TV Rights
The Nationals would receive $42M in annual rights fees and profit distributions from MASN under a television formula supported by the network and its majority owners, the Orioles, rising to $58M by '16, according to industry sources. Over a hypothetical, extrapolated 20-year period, MASN says the same formula under current revenue growth rates would yield the Nationals more than $2.2B in total rights fees and profit distributions, the sources said. The sum would place the team roughly in line with recent rights megadeals signed by the Rangers and Angels with FSN.
The Nationals, currently receiving $29M per year in MASN rights fees, have been battling for months without success on a new rights fee, as the club holds the right to seek a reset every five years.
The Nationals, seeking an estimated $120M per year, point to current open-market rates that give clubs such as the Angels and Rangers nine-figure sums annually. But the Orioles say its '05 relocation deal with MLB to bring the Nationals into DC calls for the strict use of a 16-year-old league television formula developed by Colorado-based Bortz Media & Sports Group for use by teams with equity interests in the their own television partners.
The unresolved audit issue remains before an ad hoc league committee, and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said earlier this week it was the subject of "very intense negotiations," and that he preferred it was solved "a month ago." MASN and the Nationals declined to comment.