Judge throws out arbitration decision over Nationals rights dispute

An arbitration decision that stated that US regional cable-television broadcaster MASN owed Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Washington Nationals $298m (€270m) for the franchise’s broadcast rights has been thrown out by a New York judge.

MASN, which is controlled by MLB franchise the Baltimore Orioles, filed a lawsuit against the arbitration process in the New York State Supreme Court last year. The action claimed that the arbitration was improper because the law company that represented the Nationals, Proskauer Rose, had also worked for MLB and the teams of all three arbitrators.

The arbitration process had focused on a dispute of the value of the Nationals’ broadcast rights from 2012 to 2016.

“MASN and the Orioles have established that their well-documented concerns fell on entirely deaf ears,” Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Marks said. “The court concludes that this complete inaction objectively demonstrates an utter lack of concern for fairness of the proceeding.”

MASN managing partner Alan Rifkin added to the Associated Press news agency: “We look forward to a fair and neutral process before an objective decision-maker in the future.”