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Manfred: MASN eventually must pay Nats increased rights fees

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a press conference after his first owners' meeting as baseball commissioner, Thursday, May 21, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a press conference after his first owners' meeting as baseball commissioner, Thursday, May 21, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network eventually will be forced to pay increased rights fees to the Washington Nationals.

Both teams own stakes in MASN, and the Orioles hold a controlling interest. When they could not agree on the Nationals' rights fees for 2012-16, the dispute went to MLB's three-man Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee.

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After the committee ruled last summer the Nationals should receive about $298 million for the five-year period, MASN and the Orioles sued, complaining the process was tainted. Justice Lawrence K. Marks issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Nationals from ending the deal and listened to arguments this week. The Orioles want the RSDC decision thrown out.

"I think the agreement's clear in MASN," Manfred said Thursday. "I think the RSDC was empowered to set rights fees. That's what they did, and I think sooner or later MASN is going to be required to pay those rights fees."

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Orioles attorneys had no comment on Manfred's remarks.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contibuted to this article.

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