The Washington Nationals and MASN are in the middle of a rather tumultuous renegotiation of their media rights fees, according to a report by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. In that article, Ourand says that the team and the network are separated by about $70 million in their negotiations.
It has gotten so bad that Major League Baseball has decided to extend these deliberations for another month. The Nationals are looking for a deal that is comparable to the deals that other teams in top-10 media markets would get. Sources say that the Nationals are looking an average upwards of $100 million per year. MASN on the other hand, citing the team's low ratings and still small fan base, say that the fees should average around $35 million per year.
Another part that is holding up the negotiations is the fact that whatever the Nationals receive in rights fees, the Baltimore Orioles would receive the same amount. The fact that Orioles games get broadcast in the D.C. area is another reason MASN is citing for the lower fee offered to the Nationals.
If the two sides cannot come to a conclusion, Major League Baseball will settle this matter in an arbitration-like process.