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Sports Franchise

In 1988, MSG Network signed a record 12-year, $486-million contract to air Yankee games. If local cable TV rights alone were worth that much 10 years ago, why not just buy the whole team? That's the thinking behind Fox Group's $311-million purchase of the Dodgers on Thursday and Cablevision Systems Corp.'s reported interest in buying the Yankees. Media companies are pushing further into sports ownership in a trend that shows no sign of reversing.
Hockey and now baseball, so why not football too? Tony Tavares, Disney Sports Enterprises president, said Disney has not ruled it out. But National Football League rules prohibit such a venture for two reasons: The league does not allow cross-ownership of sports franchises and requires that football be the primary purpose of any corporation buying a franchise. The NFL remains flexible, however. A year ago it gave conditional approval to H.
July 18, 2006 | Greg Johnson, Times Staff Writer
Tad Segars boasts that the best seat in his house doubles as one of the best from which to catch the action at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. It's an easy claim to make because the real estate agent's chair sits in a condominium overlooking the racetrack's noisy first turn. When roaring engines drown out polite conversation, Segars shuts the sliding door and watches the action on a big-screen television.
December 15, 1991 | By Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
An hour before the game, Al Davis stands at the 50-yard line of the silent Coliseum, surveying the field through his sunglasses darkly, as if the world's fate were to be decided upon it. His bodyguards, two off-duty Los Angeles policemen dressed like assistant coaches, watch from a discreet distance. A small retinue of close friends from Oakland, who fly down faithfully for games, walks up to shake hands. Sometimes, Sam Bercovich, a kindly, spindly 73-year-old retired furniture dealer, actually runs onto the field for warmups with the defensive backs, a commitment to excellence in the geriatric extreme.
April 6, 2012 | By Bill Shaikin
The purchase agreement between Frank McCourt and Guggenheim Baseball for the Dodgers, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Friday afternoon, failed to answer two big questions: What McCourt's future involvement with the team and property might be; and where exactly is the new owner's money coming from. Guggenheim is paying $1,587,798,000 in cash and assuming debts of no more than $412,200,000 to buy the Dodgers from Frank McCourt, according to documents filed. However, Mark Walter, who is designated as "the MLB Control Person" with respect to the team, is the only buyer named in the document.
December 1, 2009 | By Chuck Culpepper
If the Russian metal magnate Mikhail Prokhorov's bid for 80% of the New Jersey Nets seems landmark for its foreignness, just gaze at the motherland. In a United Kingdom whose churning internationalism can make the United States seem cloistered by contrast, foreign ownership of the 20 soccer clubs in the globally towering English Premier League has reached quite a juncture: half. "I'm almost losing track," said Michael Brunskill of the watchdog group Football Supporters' Federation.
March 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
Tim Harris once played goalie for the Los Angeles Lazers, an indoor soccer team owned by Jerry Buss. Harris, now an executive with the Lakers, said that as he looks back it was obvious what Buss was doing. "He was setting up these labs for his kids to learn," Harris said. "That's how Jeanie learned and that's how I learned. Jeanie and I chuckle at it now. It wasn't that long ago we were sitting in roller hockey league meetings and now we're sitting in NBA league meetings. " Buss earned his fame and accolades by owning the Lakers and Kings.
September 7, 1986 | JEFF MEYERS, Times Staff Writer
The Valley area--from Canyon Country to Sherman Oaks, Tujunga to Camarillo--is bigger than Detroit and more affluent than Dallas. It has nearly 1.6 million people, a great many of them supporters of Los Angeles' eight professional sports teams. But unlike Orange County, which has similar demographics and also the Rams and Angels, the Valley area has no major league teams and no major league facilities. And no luck.
August 7, 2009 | Kevin Baxter
The first thing you notice about Jorge Vergara are his socks. He's not wearing any. "One day when I was 11 or 12, I thought, 'Why do you wear socks?,' " he says. He couldn't come up with a suitable answer, so he hasn't worn them since. That kind of logic hasn't always played well in the button-down Mexican business world. But it's not the only sector of Mexican society the iconoclastic Vergara is shaking up.
A cynic might argue that PSINet Inc. should have used red ink in 1999 when it signed a deal to pay $105 million to put its corporate logo on the Baltimore Ravens' new football stadium. Less than three years into its 20-year contract, the Ashburn, Va.-based company has acknowledged that it soon might run out of cash and be forced into a bankruptcy filing.
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