Weekly Column: Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals Television (MLB)

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder and Managing Attorney Jeremy Evans has written a column about the exciting opportunities in the Washington, D.C. market for sports and entertainment highlighting the tremendous television broadcast and streaming deal negotiation with the Orioles and Nationals (MLB).  

You can read the full column below.


Our Nation’s Capital has been busy with the buying and selling of sports teams and the pursuit of building new arenas or at least keeping and renovating older ones. RFK Stadium is looking to be repurposed and developed for more sports, specifically the Washington Commanders Football Team (NFL), residential, and commercial use. Washington Wizards (NBA) and Capitals (NHL) owner Ted Leonsis is considering a move to Alexandria, Virginia across the Potomac from our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C. into a new arena.

The Baltimore Orioles baseball club sold in January 2024 to David Rubenstein from Peter Angelos for $1.725 billion. The Lerner family has twice now considered selling the Washington Nationals, but has twice removed the baseball club from the market. Like Arte Moreno who owns the Los Angeles Angels, it is likely that the right sale price or surrounding real estate development has not passed certain approvals to sweeten the business deal. There is also another concern that is holding up the sale or possibly has the Lerner family interested in the financial future of the club as it negotiates alongside the Orioles with Comcast for the next Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) deal as part of the regional sports offering.

With growing concern over the future of regional sports networks (RSN) across sports, some professional franchises and leagues have pushed further into streaming opportunities. FuboTV is even suing Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, and FOX for its efforts to create a one-stop-shop sports streaming platform saying their efforts are anti-competitive activity that directly harms the FuboTV business model. Despite FuboTV’s concerns, there is tremendous opportunity for both FuboTV and the combined streaming if Comcast balks, pun intended, at re-upping the Orioles and Nationals.

The Orioles have secured a long term home at Camden Yards and are looking like the up-and-coming team in the American League with a strong farm system and big league roster. The Nationals have a beautiful ballpark are in rebuilding mode after losing several big name players to free agency or trades and spending large amounts on athletes not currently playing, but there is always hope for the future with the former World Series Champion club (2019). First, with the rising cost of sports rights, the Orioles and Nationals can join forces to drive a higher price, but also a bargain because it would be a two-for-one opportunity in both the American and National Leagues to broadcast baseball. Secondly, the combined resources of the big three streamers/Hollywood studios could split the cost of buying the expensive rights to stream games with the chance to create a WGN (Chicago Cubs) or TNT (Atlanta Braves) style channel that would be accessible to millions. Even if some games were reserved for cable through Comcast or a streamer like FuboTV, the splitting of the game schedule would lower the cost for all parties trying to secure the television broadcast or streaming rights. Ultimately, the Rubenstein’s and Lerner’s have a tremendous opportunity to set both franchises on a terrific course ahead with smart financial decisions through a combined network or channel and might be why the Lerner’s have decided to hold on a bit longer to the club.


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.  

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.