Judge Rules MASN Dispute Can Head To Arbitration Association
A New York state judge today ruled the Orioles can have their MASN profit distributions dispute heard by the American Arbitration Association and formally blocked a move by the Nationals to have this part of the ongoing dispute resolved by MLB. Judge Barry Ostrager of the state’s Supreme Court said the league’s financial ties to the Nationals, made through a prior $25M advance to the Nats toward anticipated additional TV rights fees, made it an improper forum to rule on the matter.
“It would be illogical to allow MLB -- a potentially conflicted party -- to determine whether MLB itself had a financial interest in one of the parties to the dispute at the relevant time,” Ostrager wrote in his order. The ruling extends a series of legal losses for the Nationals in the long-running case, with the only notable exception being a '17 ruling that returned the matter to MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee for a second time.