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Dodgers sale virtually certain to be approved by Bankruptcy Court

DODGERS SALE

Major League Baseball and Fox Sports have raised minor concerns but do not plan to try to block the $2.15-billion deal that will transfer ownership from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management.

April 10, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Dodgers owner Frank McCourt won't have to worry about Major League Baseball or Fox trying to slow down his sale of the club.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt won't have to worry about Major League… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Neither Major League Baseball nor Fox Sports plans to try to stop the sale of the Dodgers, virtually ensuring that the deal will receive court approval Friday.

MLB and Fox, the Dodgers' two most formidable combatants in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, expressed relatively minor concerns Tuesday, the deadline for parties to object to the sale.

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' outgoing owner, agreed last month to sell the team to Guggenheim Baseball Management for $2.15 billion. MLB has been frustrated by what it considers a lack of information about that transaction — and a separate one in which McCourt and Guggenheim will jointly own the Dodger Stadium parking lots.

However, the court almost certainly would have rejected any MLB objection on those grounds, as the league already had approved Guggenheim as a buyer, and the McCourt entity that currently owns the parking lots is not part of the bankruptcy case.

In Tuesday's filing, MLB repeated its contention that the court should compel McCourt to pay the league about $8 million, mostly in legal fees. The matter already has been submitted to the court-appointed mediator.

Fox asked for explicit written assurances that rival Time Warner Cable is not part of the Guggenheim group. TWC is not involved, according to multiple people familiar with the sale process but not authorized to speak publicly about it. Guggenheim is expected to negotiate with Fox, TWC and perhaps CBS on a television contract that could be worth up to $5 billion, and the Dodgers also have the right to launch a team-owned cable channel.

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