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Dodgers propose hiring broker to sell TV rights

August 23, 2011 |  4:31 pm

Dodgers The Dodgers on Tuesday launched the process of trying to sell their cable television rights, the key to Frank McCourt's strategy to emerge from bankruptcy as the team's owner.

The sale could involve "a traditional licensing deal or . . . the creation of a regional sports network," according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

The Dodgers' current deal with Fox Sports extends through 2013 and restricts them from negotiating with other potential cable outlets until Nov. 30, 2012. The Dodgers are expected to ask the court to terminate the contract, as is their right under bankruptcy law, with opposition expected from Fox, Major League Baseball and McCourt's ex-wife Jamie, who claims half-ownership of the team.

The team's attorneys asked the court to approve the hiring of a law firm to "negotiate on behalf of the [Dodgers] the terms of a potential transaction involving the broadcast television rights," according to the documents.

The firm, Covington & Burling, represented the Dodgers in drafting a proposed long-term extension with Fox, a deal vetoed by Commissioner Bud Selig in June. McCourt has said that veto forced the Dodgers into bankruptcy.

A hearing is set for Sept. 26.

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-- Bill Shaikin

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