TAMPA, Fla. — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the league is committed to getting the Orioles’ sale to Baltimore native David Rubenstein closed as quickly as possible.

“We’re working on the internal processes that need to be completed before the transaction can close,” Manfred said in his annual start-of-spring-training availability. “There’s lots of documents that need to be reviewed and whatnot to make sure they are in accordance with our rules.”

John Angelos sold the team — including the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which broadcasts Orioles and Nationals games — last month to Rubenstein and a group that includes Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. and billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The process is moving rapidly, multiple sources said, with the expectation that it could be wrapped up in the coming weeks.

When MLB completes its internal process, the sale will be put to a vote of MLB owners, the final step before it is finalized. At least 22 of the other 29 owners need to vote in support of the sale for it to be approved.

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The next MLB owners meeting isn’t until June, but the vote can be done virtually.

Manfred on Thursday also reaffirmed his commitment to making games more accessible to a larger population of people. His goal is to get half of MLB teams on a direct-to-consumer streaming service by 2025. Some regional sports networks, such as the New England Sports Network, run by the group that owns the Boston Red Sox, are already offering this service.

“If there’s a house where there are young kids and they are cord cutters and there is no way to watch baseball, unlikely those kids are going to be fans and they are going to be after their kids to go to a game live,” Manfred said. “You have to look at it big picture.”

It is unclear what changes may come to MASN after the sale, including the possibility of separating the rights to the Orioles and Nationals, which are currently locked into a contract for perpetuity. There is not a streaming option for Orioles games without a cable package, and any major decisions are on hold until the sale is finalized, sources said. And the games may soon become even harder to watch, because Comcast’s contract with MASN expires at the end of February.

This comes as the number of cable subscribers continues to dip — with the number of households that pay for cable predicted to drop below 35% by 2027. Regional sports networks, as a result, are struggling. Diamond Sports Group, which operates Bally Sports, filed for bankruptcy last year. Warner Bros. Discovery, which had the rights to four teams, exited the business last year.

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As a result, MLB now has the broadcast rights to three teams — the Rockies, Padres and Diamondbacks. MLB.tv, which blacks out in-market games, has introduced a bundle for those in the Rockies’, Padres’ and Diamondbacks’ territories to watch their games on the streaming platform.

Manfred said he’s unsure if these will remain on MLB.tv in the future, because they already have significant interest from major partners.

“There are a lot of people, completely unrelated to baseball or any kind of programming, to tell you the truth, for fundamental economic reasons, opt out of that cable bundle,” Manfred said. “We have to serve those people.”

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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