MASN payment to Nats put on hold pending Orioles’ appeal

MLB

NEW YORK (AP)The Washington Nationals aren’t getting their more than $99 million payment from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network quite yet.

New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen on Monday stayed enforcement of the judgment pending an appeal by the Baltimore Orioles, who own a controlling interest in MASN.

Cohen in August upheld an April 15 decision by a Major League Baseball arbitration panel that set the Nationals’ TV rights for 2012-16 at nearly $297 million. Subtracting payments already made by MASN, a proposed judgment submitted by the parties last week set the net figure owed the Nationals at $99.2 million plus interest from April 15.

MASN was established in 2005 after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and became the Nationals, moving into what had been Baltimore’s exclusive broadcast territory since 1972. The parties agreed in 2005 to have rights fees disputes decided by the MLB Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee. The committee’s decision in April was made by Milwaukee Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio, Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather and Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro.

Cohen said Baltimore must reach an agreement with Washington to place the $99 million-plus judgment in escrow, and the Orioles must file for an expedited appeal to the Appellate Division’s First Department by Dec. 31.

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