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Even the O’s get a piece of the Strasburg action

Hey, remember that deal Peter Angelos finagled back in 2005 when the Nationals came to D.C.? You know, the one where the Orioles retain majority ownership of MASN while getting the rights to broadcast Nationals games?

You know where I’m going with this.

While not so impressive last year when the Nationals ratings were just flat-out embarrassing (so bad that the Orioles broadcasts were outdrawing the Nationals in the D.C. market), the expected ratings boost for rookie Stephen Strasburg’s starts this year will mean more money in Angelos’ pocket. Without having to lift a finger.

I asked MASN Spokesman Todd Webster about that relationship and he said good ratings benefits both clubs.

“The Orioles are the majority owner of MASN and the Nationals are also an owner,” he said. “And the better both teams do and the better the ratings do, the better it is for both teams.”

MASN ad rates have doubled since Strasburg’s start tonight was announced. Whether that keeps up depends on his performance. A few nights of good ratings and boosted ad sales does not make that big of a difference in the grand scheme of things. But if Strasburg performs well this season, demand for MASN ad space will be higher next season and the Orioles owner will reap the benefits of that.

Yes, I know the Nationals’ financial rewards if Strasburg pans out will be far greater than the Orioles’ rewards … but they’re not the ones who took a $15.1 million chance on a rookie pitcher, either.