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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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SEC Commissioner Tells Pat McAfee Someone at ESPN Leaked 2024 Schedule Without Permission

“We were trying to protect it. Someone at ESPN apparently leaked it.”

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SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey isn’t particularly thrilled that his new top broadcast partner leaked a portion of next year’s schedule a bit early.

During an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, which just so happens to be an ESPN property, Sankey mentioned his displeasure at the Worldwide Leader for leaking a portion of the 2024 SEC schedule early. According to Sankey, the league and the network agreed to release the schedule together in the near future.

“We were trying to protect it,” Sankey said. “Someone at ESPN apparently leaked it,” according to Yahoo Sports college football reporter Ross Dellenger.

While leaks in the media space are hardly a new phenomenon, especially when it comes to something as desirable as a football conference’s yearly schedule, a leak this early in the newly-formed ESPN-SEC relationship is less than ideal. Starting next season, ESPN will take over as the SEC’s primary broadcast partner, assuming the position CBS had long held for decades.

In the leaked portion of the schedule, the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide will play in the regular season for just the third time in the past 15 years. We also know the Bulldogs will play the debuting Texas Longhorns in Texas, while the Tide will play the other Oklahoma Sooners on the road.

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Jim Boeheim Making Analyst Debut on ACC Network, Joining The CW

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Jim Boeheim
Courtesy: Codie Yan, The NewsHouse

Former Syracuse Orange basketball head coach Jim Boeheim will make his debut as an analyst on Saturday, Dec. 2 on the ACC Network. Boeheim will be on the broadcast for the matchup between Florida State and North Carolina at 2 PM ET featuring play-by-play announcer Wes Durham and sideline reporter Cory Alexander.

Boeheim will make his studio debut on Tuesday, Dec. 5 during halftime of the men’s prime-time doubleheader games on the day – which consists of Central Connecticut against Boston College at 6 PM ET, followed by Cornell taking on Syracuse at 8 PM ET.

On the program, he will be joined by host Kelsey Riggs and analyst Luke Hancock, and he will also remain on the air for the 10 p.m. edition of Nothing But Net, the network’s signature basketball show.

Additionally, Jim Boeheim also joined Westwood One and is reportedly set to work on The CW coverage of ACC basketball, debuting this Saturday with pre-taped segments during halftime of two conference games. News of Boeheim working with The CW was first reported by Mike Waters of Syracuse.com.

Boeheim departed Syracuse University after 47 seasons as a coach and holding an overall win-loss record of 1,015-441. He has the second-most wins at the Division I level in the history of college basketball, only being surpassed by former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

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Dan Le Batard: I Thought Pat McAfee Would Grow College GameDay, But That Hasn’t Happened

Le Batard said McAfee is playing under a different set of rules than others at ESPN.

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Pat McAfee
(Photo: ESPN Images)

Pat McAfee has checked all the boxes Disney and ESPN leadership had when the former NFL punter brought his daily sports talk show into the fray, but one area where it seems like the waters aren’t so smooth for McAfee is in his reception as an analyst on College GameDay.

GameDay viewers have not shied away from making their feelings known that they don’t like seeing McAfee on the show, and Dan Le Batard has found the criticism quite interesting.

On The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Thursday, Le Batard said he thought having Pat McAfee on GameDay would continue taking the show to the next level, but it turns out he was wrong in some respects.

“And so they get McAfee and they give him a new set of rules,” Le Batard said. “But I thought that would result in College GameDay getting bigger and better. More popular. I underestimated the allegiance that the viewer has to David Pollack.”

“I’m reading him and everyone around him saying he’s a good teammate, they all love him, they’re all getting along with him,” Le Batard added. “He is effusive, he is such a positive person. He is effusive in his praise for the people on that sat. But now the numbers are coming back, and this is something that McAfee couldn’t have expected.”

Executive producer Mike Ruiz chimed in saying that a contributing factor in the changing conditions at GameDay is due to the mass layoffs and non-renewals of more expensive talent over the last couple years. He said there was going to be a natural need to switch things up after cutting ties with the likes of Pollack, Tom Rinaldi, and Chris “The Bear” Fallica.

“The format of the show when you take someone like that, you’re changing it,” Ruiz said. “You’re changing the emotional stories that made you cry in advance of a Purdue/Ohio State game. All that stuff starts going away. And now it’s not just going away, some of that stuff is going to FOX.”

Dan Le Batard responded saying he wasn’t trying to blame Pat McAfee for Big Noon Kickoff closing the gap on GameDay and negative fan feedback. But all of a sudden now that FOX can tout its pregame show continuing to grow and be a successful alternative to ESPN’s product, the narrative shifts.

“I always say perception is not reality, but when all you have is perception and fudged numbers, FOX is saying, ‘We’ve caught College GameDay. We’ve caught one of the most popular shows in the history of sports television,'” Le Batard said.

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