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Nationals Claim MASN Has Not Paid Rights Fees

“The Orioles are arguing the $25 million that MLB paid the Washington Nationals in 2005 makes the league a minority owner in the team.”

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The court battle between the Washington Nationals and MASN, the RSN owned by their regional rival Baltimore Orioles, rages on. Nationals ownership claims it has not received rights fees from MASN in over a year. It is just the latest turn in a long-running legal dispute.

When the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, DC in 2005 MLB smoothed things over with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who vehemently opposed another team coming into what had been exclusively the Orioles’ TV market, by allowing MASN to broadcast Nationals games at a discounted rate until 2011. The league then subsidized the Nationals with a $25 million payment.

After 2011, MASN was supposed to pay “fair market value” to the Nationals for their broadcast rights. They have been locked in a legal battle for a while to determine what “fair market value” actually is.

An MLB arbitration originally awarded the Nationals a judgement in the amount of $53 million, but in June of 2017, that ruling was thrown out by an appeals court, which ruled that the law firm representing the Nationals in the proceedings had a conflict of interest in that it represented Major League Baseball in other matters.

That judgement sent the matter back to the same Major League Baseball panel that arbitrated the dispute the first time around.

The Hollywood Reporter says this time each side is bringing a new complaint to the table. The Nationals claim that they have not received any rights fees payment from MASN in over a year. The Orioles are arguing the $25 million that MLB paid the Washington Nationals in 2005 makes the league a minority owner in the team. The Orioles want the arbitration case heard by the American Arbitration Association.

It is genuinely hard to tell if we are any closer to a resolution. Before anyone hears the Nationals’ and Orioles’ respective cases, the Nationals will argue that the AAA has no jurisdiction in the case, as the Nationals did not agree to take the case before it.

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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