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Fox signals opposition to Dodgers' bid to sell TV rights

September 20, 2011 |  2:53 pm

Dodgers logo Fox Sports on Tuesday signaled its opposition to the Dodgers' bid to sell their television rights this fall, the first among several challenges expected to owner Frank McCourt's strategy to get the team out of bankruptcy and remain its owner.

Fox holds the Dodgers' television rights through the 2013 season, and the contract forbids the team from soliciting other offers for another 14 months. The Dodgers last week asked the court to authorize an immediate negotiating period with Fox, most likely followed by an auction.

Fox is expected to respond by asking the court to compel the Dodgers to accept or reject the entirety of the current contract, in accordance with federal bankruptcy law. If the Dodgers walk away from the Fox contract, as the law allows, Fox could make good in its threat to sue for damages.

Major League Baseball also is expected to oppose the Dodgers' bid to sell the television rights.

In its court filing Tuesday, Fox did not take on the Dodgers. Instead, Fox asked the court to deny the creditors' committee its request to hire an investment bank to "review and evaluate" the Dodgers' "process to sell or monetize broadcast rights."

Fox expressed its objection to "any action by any party that interferes with, impairs or undermines" the current contract, specifically including the television rights sale proposed last week by the Dodgers.

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-- Bill Shaikin

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