As the Dodgers continue talks with Fox Sports and Time Warner Cable over a television contract that could be worth at least $6 billion, the team also has opened discussions with Major League Baseball over the revenue-sharing implications of any such deal.
Mark Walter, the Dodgers' controlling owner, has been personally involved in the discussions with MLB, according to two people familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment on it.
In engaging in the discussions, the Dodgers hope to avoid a U.S. Bankruptcy Court showdown with MLB. As part of the settlement under which Frank McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers, the court -- and not MLB -- has the final say over distribution of the team's television revenue, according to people briefed on the settlement terms.
The Dodgers have not agreed to the terms of a deal with either Fox or TWC, the people said.
The discussions with MLB center on whether all of the Dodgers' guaranteed television revenue should be subject to baseball's revenue-sharing program. The league believes -- and there are indications the court might agree -- that the Dodgers must take some element of risk with any money not subject to revenue sharing.