Fox Sports sues Dodgers, trying to halt TV rights sale
Fox Sports filed suit against the Dodgers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court late Tuesday, alleging the team has breached its current television contract in pursuit of a new one.
The suit is intended to stop the Dodgers from their proposed sale of the team's television rights, the key to owner Frank McCourt's plan to emerge from bankruptcy as the Dodgers' owner.
The suit asks that the court reject any such sale except in accordance with the current contract, under which Fox retains exclusive negotiating rights through November 2012 as well as the right to match any other offer. The auction process proposed by McCourt and his attorneys would not honor those rights.
The suit also seeks unspecified damages.
Fox alleges that the Dodgers have shared confidential broadcast contract information -- "even after direct and explicit warnings," the suit claims -- and have threatened the success of the cable channel Prime Ticket. In the absence of court intervention, Fox would suffer "great and irreparable injury," the suit alleges.
"The telecast rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games are an inherently unique and irreplaceable asset and business opportunity," the suit reads.
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times