As News Corp.'s Fox Sports unit prepares to spend billions of dollars to keep television rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers, one has to wonder if the media giant has any pangs of regret over selling the team in the first place.
News Corp. owned the Dodgers from 1998 to 2004. It paid $350 million to get the team from the O'Malley family and sold it for $430 million to Frank McCourt, who earlier this year sold it to private equity firm Guggenheim Partners for $2.1 billion.
Now, if Fox Sports wants to keep the Dodgers on its Prime Ticket cable channel here, it will likely have to pay an average of at least $150 million a season. When McCourt still owned the team, Fox Sports made an offer of $3 billion for a 20-year deal. Fox Sports is nearing the end of its exclusive negotiating window with Guggenheim Partners for a new TV agreement.
Waiting in the wings if Fox Sports can't get a deal done is Time Warner Cable, which already snagged the rights to the Lakers away from Fox for its new channel, SportsNet.