At long last, it appears that the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers will proceed and meet a previously established deadline of April 30.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a dispute between outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Fox, owner of the team’s TV rights, has been settled:
The Dodgers had said they could command a higher sale price by marketing their television rights now. Fox had asked for the enforcement of its current contract, which forbids the team from negotiating with other broadcast outlets before Nov. 30. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross ruled in favor of the Dodgers, but Fox appealed and Stark put the sale on hold.
The Dodgers agreed Tuesday to honor the existing Fox contract, which expires after the 2013 season. That leaves a new owner free to launch his own Dodgers cable channel starting in 2014, or leverage that threat into a bidding war between Fox and Time Warner Cable.
This would seem to put the Dodgers sale on the fast track; as many as six groups have been linked to possible interest in buying the team. There is one thing that hasn’t been settled:
Fox did not, however, release McCourt from his obligation to repay a $30 million personal loan provided by the company in April so that he could meet the first payrolls of the season.
The article doesn’t indicate a deadline for repaying that loan.
And it is still amusing that the name of the bankruptcy judge in the Dodgers case is Kevin Gross; that’s the same name as this former pitcher who pitched for the Dodgers for a few years in the early 1990s.