MASN has gobs of money but they don’t want to give any of it to the Nationals

June 12, 2012 | Drew Forrester

That’s the dilemma facing Angleos, the MASN creator.  He knows, most likely, that any additional “free money” the Nationals receive will be used to lure top free agents to Washington DC.

And if the Nats spend all that TV money on players to improve their team and impress their fan base, what message does it send if the Orioles – the older brother, so to speak – don’t do exactly the same thing?


Angelos also knows this:  The Nationals are closing in on being a playoff contender.  It may or may not happen this year, but they’re not far away, for sure.  While an improved Nats team should result in better TV ratings, the other dirty little secret about MASN is that they’ve never been all that successful selling advertising for their baseball product.  Think about it…Southwest Airlines is a familiar advertising partner of MASN baseball, but who else can you recall being a longtime supporter with their marketing dollars?  Right, you can’t recall anyone.  That’s because they haven’t done a very good job of selling advertising.  Instead, they’ve relied on the checks they receive every month from the cable carriers.  Where do those cable carriers get the money they send to the Orioles and Nationals?  From you and me, that’s who.  We pay the freight every month.

Back to the subject of the Nationals getting better and contending for the post-season.  While it could yield additional advertising leverage, it mainly serves as another blemish to the Angelos ownership era of Orioles baseball.

“You mean the Nationals made the post-season in 2012 after being a last place team for most of the last 7 years and the Orioles can’t climb out of the doldrums after 14 years of losing?”

If the Nationals make the post-season before the Orioles do, it’s a black eye for the baseball franchise in Baltimore.  Yes, there are differences in quality between the AL East and NL East, but it’s not all that significant.  If the little brother winds up being more successful than the older brother, that’s a problem.

And if little brother gets REALLY good – like, ahem, playing in the World Series – and they do it in part by spending that MASN money on better players, the Orioles hand might very well be forced to apply the same tactic.

That scenario, naturally, could be a problem for the Orioles under Angelos, who spent as much on baseball players in 2000 ($81 million) as he did this year ($81 million).

(Please see next page)

15 Comments For This Post

  1. over40 DON Says:

    Kinda like the walk up fee for O’s games. Nobody hardly knows anything about all this. Imagine if Espn or CBS Sports took this story and ran with it.

  2. John West Says:


  3. Highlandtown Hank Says:

    Is this 100% truth? Your resentment and anger towards Pete is well documented. Nestor, your job is to provide both sides of the story. Please do so because you are sounding very whiny. Thank you. (DF: Nestor didn’t write this piece. Drew did. It’s all true. Thanks for checking in.)

  4. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Drew, you watch and see, Angelos will try to pass a increase on to the Comcast viewers and other cable companies. So the fans will end up paying the freight as always, forget your 3 dollar a month fee it might go to 5 dollars, Angelos will find a way to get around this without costing him any money.

  5. john angelos Says:

    Mr. Angelos is a great man who has done so much for Baltimore. You all should be honored that he is our owner. Think about all the great he has done — taking the first 15 years of his ownership to find a spring training home, prior to which he told Disney to stuff it on the Orioles having spring training where the Braves are now in Disney World…. keeping Spring Training in sexy FT Lauderdale so his sons Johnny and Louie
    could be playboys all night, despite the aging facility, being 4 hours from the minor league complex, and 1 hour from the closest opposing team (so nothing but long bus rides). Makes total sense. And the, Mr Angelos has given you the last 14 years of greatness. Amazing players, amazing memories for these 14 years. We’ve fought the evil MD Stadium Authority, We’ve fought the evil Ravens, and we wouldnt let the the Super Bowel XXXV champs throw out the first pitch bc we hate them. We fought the evil Ravens again when their horrible owner Biscotti wouldnt meet with Mr Angelos to
    renew the MASN/Ravens deal LIKE A MAN. FACE TO FACE. Mr Angelos fought and continues to fight that evil owner of WNST radio with dellusions of grandeur and will work hard to keep him out of our stadium. Mr Angelos also will continue to fight you, the fans, doing his best to screw you unmercifully. Being shady with student night $6 tickets. Charging you MORE to come out on game night and buy tickets. And on and on. FIGHTS FIGHTS AND MORE FIGHTS. MR ANGELOS LOVES WHAT HE DOES. I gotta run. Have another BAR exam to fail
    continuesto fight that evil pipsqueek radio host Nestor, and we’ll continue to fight you the fans screwing you at every regard including

  6. Gerald Says:

    Would have been a good story if you didn’t bring your personal squabble with the O’s into it. It take away your credability. (DF: It doesn’t take away anything since it’s all true. And it’s credibility, with an “i”, not an “a”. Not being able to spell credibility the right way takes away from yours.)

  7. bob Says:

    Highlandtown Hank… I would need to read the article again to see if Nestor made any mention of the recent Texas Rangers TV rights deal (among other recent big money deals). Angelos offering $35 million is at least 100% BELOW what the Nats rights are worth, when compared to these other recent deals. Perhaps Nestor needs to delve into these comparable deals more. But overall, there really isnt a side of the story that helps Peter at all.

  8. Unitastoberry Says:

    My guess is all your cable and satalite bills are going up folks ! Ah for the good old days with Chuck Thompson,Bill ODonnell,Charlie Eckman,and thirty or so free Os games on free TV!

  9. Eric Says:

    Very well written and provides the fan base, those intelligent enough to understand this, with a great understanding as to why the ownership isn’t willing to field a competitive team.

  10. T Nelson Says:

    Maybe Angelos should check the standings because the Nats are in first place without spending “extra money” on new players…i understand business is business but when your own greed gets in the way of your own greed thats just a little overboard

  11. Tom Says:

    Drew, do you really believe Angeloser cares whether or not the Nats spend their increased revenue on players? His only incentive is $$$$$$ so it really makes no difference to him. Playing second fiddle to the “little brother” shouldn’t matter. The diehard baseball fans will continue to go (as they have the last 14 years). He will only lose the win – starved fans who are just beginning to come back.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Just do what lawyers do and wait it out. The man will be 83 years old shortly so the clock is quickly ticking.

    By the way, it’s kind of childish to mock Gerald for making a spelling mistake. That’s a level of silly pettiness we expect from the team’s owner. (DF: Come on bro, you have to get mocked if you question someone’s credibility and can’t spell credibility right…)

  13. BmoreBobRob Says:

    What a racket. Even when Angelos loses, he wins. The sad part is that the Nats will put the money into their team and Angelos will put the money in his pocket. He is basically holding this team hostage. It is incredible how much he makes with MASN. Imagine if he had put his money behind You Pon? Whatever happened to You Pon? (DF: You keep asking what happened to You Pon. I don’t know what you’re talking about. What is You Pon? You keep referencing it over and over and over. Is it some sort of feminine product?)

  14. Chris Says:

    I have to say that this is one of the best articles i have read in a long time…not just on this site but nationally or locally. It is an absolute JOKE that the Nationals only get paid $29 Million a year for rights fees (or whatever they are called). I believe the Rangers and Dodgers (and Astros although I’m not 100% sure about them) just signed TV deals worth over $1 Billion over the course of the next decade. i had no idea this is how Angelos was able to cry the blues over not enough revenue coming into the Orioles by keeping their rights fees so low. This is DISGUSTING. Once again, a great article with outstanding facts backing up your strong opinions. would it be possible to interview your source or sources on your radio show? i would love to hear more on this.

  15. aaron manfra Says:

    hey drew, quick question. could the nats just say screw masn and start thier own network that would focus on just d.c. teams (caps,wiz,g-town,etc.) or is there some sort of clause built in by angelos when the expos were moved here? just wondering.

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