MLB seeking new owners for Nationals, Orioles broadcast rights, according to report

USA Today Sports

Comcast, Fox Sports both vying to purchase broadcast rights to Nationals games.

Major League Baseball has stepped into the broadcast rights dispute between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, seeking a new owner for the broadcast rights to Nationals games.

The Nationals broadcasting rights are currently held by MASN, which is owned by Orioles owner Peter Angelos. The two teams have feuded for more than a year about the size of rights fee to broadcast Nationals games. MASN paid a rights fee of $29 million in 2011. The Nationals have reportedly asked for as much as $120 million per year.

The Washington Post reports that Major League Baseball has asked a New York investment bank to seek potential new owners for the rights.

"A new owner would essentially separate MASN and Angelos from the Nationals by creating a new regional sports network," the Post reports. "Fox Sports and Comcast are candidates to purchase the rights, according to one of the individuals. Both companies, Fox Sports in particular, have delved heavily into the regional sports network market."

Both MLB and the Nationals declined comment to the Post. Sports Business Journal reported earlier this month that MLB had asked Fox Sports to explore buying all or part of MASN from Angelos, a move that was apparently rebuffed by the Orioles owner.

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