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BASEBALL EXTRA

Dodgers, Murdoch Going Through Proper Channels

May 14, 1997|ROSS NEWHAN

The Dodgers' request to continue what owner Peter O'Malley called "substantive and meaningful negotiations" leading to the sale of the franchise to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which owns the Fox TV network, was neither approved nor rejected by baseball's ownership committee in Chicago on Tuesday, but the delay is strictly procedural.

Both the Dodgers and Fox, which was given approval to examine the sport's national television, marketing and licensing agreements and to obtain detailed financial data from the Dodgers, must first complete a questionnaire for the committee and provide certain paperwork.

O'Malley said the committee has requested more information and called it a "routine response to a routine request" by the club.

"Our request was acknowledged and is being processed within guidelines of the ownership committee," he said.

Acting Commissioner Bud Selig, presiding over an executive council meeting in Chicago, acknowledged that Fox had been given permission to examine industry and team documents and said "that process has begun."

The Dodgers and Fox are believed close to consummating an agreement, baseball and television sources reiterated Tuesday, but baseball's approval process often can take several months.

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