McCourt asks bankruptcy judge for ‘competitive sale process’ of Dodgers’ television rights


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The Dodgers intend to hold a ‘competitive sale process’ to secure a new cable television contract within 180 days, according to the team’s bankruptcy filing.

The Dodgers’ current contract with Fox extends through 2013 and forbids the team from negotiating with any other entity before Nov. 30, 2012, according to the filing.


Commissioner Bud Selig last week rejected a proposed new contract with Fox, so the Dodgers have asked the bankruptcy court to consider an auction. Time Warner Cable’s new Lakers channel would be a likely bidder, which could force Fox to choose between joining Major League Baseball in opposing an auction and risking the loss of a valuable television property.

MLB claims approval rights for all television contracts. McCourt is asking a bankruptcy judge to impose a new television contract, overriding MLB in the interest of ensuring that creditors get paid.

From the court filing, which refers to the Dodgers as ‘LAD’:

‘LAD will propose and, to the extent authorized by this Court, implement procedures that are designed to promote a competitive sale process with respect to those exclusive television rights, one that results in the highest and best offer being acceptable to all parties. In fashioning procedures, LAD will give due consideration to Fox Group and the provisions of the Existing Fox Agreement. LAD expects, and the terms of the recently negotiated Fox transaction demonstrate, that a sale or license of exclusive cable rights will fully resolve all of LAD’s financial challenges as well as generate value for the holders of the equity interests in LAD.’


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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Frank McCourt. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press