McCourt Tries To Put Squeeze Play On Fox, Claims TWC, Dish And DirecTV Might Bid

The Los Angeles Dodgers today asked the judge in their bankruptcy case to let them auction off their local TV rights for the 2014 season and beyond. The team said the sports rights market was “vibrant” now and they wanted to try to cut a deal “to avoid any risk of deterioration in value.” Prior to their bankruptcy filing, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig rejected owner Frank McCourt’s deal with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket. That blocked a $385M upfront payment on the proposed deal, worth an estimated $3B. Fox still has an exclusive negotiating period with the team set for Oct. 15-Nov. 30 of next year, but the Dodgers maintain the bankruptcy negates it. In its filing in Delaware federal court, the team asked that its 45-day negotiating term with Fox be moved up to this year, followed by 60 days of open bidding. Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and DirecTV might be bidders, the team’s filing said.  Any deal would be subject to MLB’s approval. A hearing is set for Oct. 12.

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