New York sports executive David Checketts has provided preliminary information to Major League Baseball about his progress in financing a bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball sources said Monday.
After months of talks with Dodger owner News Corp. about buying the club, Checketts on Monday made his initial contact with the league. Baseball sources saw the outreach as an indication of the seriousness of the negotiations.
They confirmed that influential financier George Soros has agreed to back Checketts' bid. It is unclear exactly how much Soros is putting into the deal, but several Wall Street sources said the amount is less than $100 million -- only 16% of the total.
Checketts must submit a formal application with the league before he can review the Dodgers' financial books.
Checketts has had trouble putting together financing for his bid because it is unclear whether News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch would sell the related cable channel that airs Dodger games as part of the package. Checketts has made the purchase of a majority stake in the network a condition of any deal. Cable rights are considered the key to making a return on an investment in a baseball club because most, including the Dodgers, lose money. The Dodgers lost about $40 million last year.