Fox’s decision to sell Dodgers could cost it fortune in TV rights

Fox's decision to sell the Dodgers could cost it a lot of money.
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

If only I’d bought that Apple stock 20 years ago or Oracle way back when. Or in the 10th grade told Sally Harris I was crazy about her, or actually taken that trip down the Amazon, or turned right instead of left.

Life’s full of “if-onlys” and “what-ifs” and there ain’t diddly you can do about it but let it go and move forward.

Which, naturally, brings us to News Corp.’s Fox Sports.

Back in 2004 it sold the Dodgers to Frank and Jamie McCourt for $430 million. Frank McCourt in turn, sent the team into bankruptcy and sold it for a cool $2.1 billion last May.


Ah, what could have been.

As The Times’ Joe Flint points out, Fox is now poised to spend billions just to keep the team’s television rights. It is approaching the end of its exclusive negotiating rights window, with Time Warner Cable waiting and ready to pounce.

It’s going to cost Fox a lot more to simply purchase the TV rights for the team than it got back from selling it eight years ago.

As Flint wrote: “Hindsight is always 20/20. When News Corp. owned the Dodgers, it was losing about $50 million a year on the team. Sports rights were only wildly out of control then and not completely insane as they are today.”

If you’re Fox, though, there is no time for regret. Only letting it go and moving forward as best you can. And Sally Harris was to die for.

Also on the Web:

-- From The Times’ Dylan Hernandez, super agent Scott Boras is only comparing left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin – who’s never thrown a single pitch in the majors – to Mark Buehrle.

-- Dioner Navarro lives! He was signed to a one-year contract by the Cubs, and apparently it’s not even a camp inivtee deal.

-- The Sporting News’ Anthony Witrado writes that the Dodgers’ spending has changed baseball’s landscape.

-- Greg Zakwin at – real blog site – Bill Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle – argues there’s no method to the Dodgers’ signings and it’s simply a PR move.

-- The Wall Street Journal writes that attorney Bruce Bennett has finally billed the Dodgers for his firm’s work in the bankruptcy proceeding: nearly $13 million.

-- Team CEO Stan Kasten does a Q&A; with the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff. Said Kasten: “It’s the coolest gig you could ever have.”

-- Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness has been left hopeful the Dodgers’ recent efforts mean a return to their place in the international market.

-- Roberto Baly writes that $42-million prospect Yasiel Puig is scheduled to arrive Friday in Puerto Rico to begin playing winter ball.

-- Hall of Fame writer Ross Newhan thinks Commissioner Bud Selig should stop the Miami/Toronto trade.

-- Meanwhile, in the crime does pay file, Toronto signed Melky Cabrera for two years at $16 million.


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