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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Lawyers for the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday petitioned a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware to allow the auction of the team’s television rights, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The move comes with the tacit approval of Major League Baseball and the currents rights holder, Fox’s Prime Ticket network, the website reported.
Up until recently, Fox has opposed owner Frank McCourt’s efforts to sell the valuable TV rights, an integral step for McCourt to pay off creditors, including his ex-wife, Jamie.
MLB had viewed any such sale as a “looting” of team assets.
But all three parties have reached an agreement for McCourt selling the media rights, the first step in a series of deals that would include auctioning off the Dodgers, Dodger Stadium and its parking lots.
“We fully support a change in ownership of the Dodgers … In that process, Fox has rights that cannot be violated, as MLB has previously stated,” a statement released by Fox said.
Fox has tied up negotiating rights through Nov. 30, 2012, and owns the TV rights for the next two seasons.
Those rights include an exclusive negotiating period, in which other companies cannot bid to broadcast games. Time Warner Cable is a possible rival to Fox in seeking the Dodger contract as a partner to Los Angeles Lakers broadcasts on its new Los Angeles sports channel.
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