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Dodgers: Fox lawsuit 'underscores its desperation' [Updated]

November 18, 2011 | 10:03 am

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The Dodgers vowed Friday they would not be "intimidated or distracted" by a Fox Sports lawsuit that the team said only revealed Fox's "desperation ... in the face of intense competition from Time Warner."

Fox late Thursday filed an amended lawsuit to demand that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court stop the Dodgers from selling their television rights along with the team itself. Fox has asked the court to uphold its current contract with the Dodgers, including a provision that forbids the Dodgers from negotiating with any other media outlets until Nov. 30, 2012. The Dodgers have asked the court to declare that provision unenforceable and have sued Fox, alleging interference in the sale of the team.

Fox also amended its lawsuit to include Dodgers owner Frank McCourt as a defendant. The suit originally had been filed against the Dodgers.

As The Times reported last month, Fox Sports might have to consider pulling the plug on Prime Ticket if the Dodgers move their broadcasts elsewhere.

The text of Friday's statement, issued for the Dodgers by spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin:

"Fox's latest lawsuit underscores its desperation to maintain its stranglehold on the Los Angeles sports media market in the face of intense competition from Time Warner. The Dodgers and its management team will not be intimidated or distracted from maximizing the value of the Dodgers' assets in connection with the impending sale. in any event, the latest lawsuit is, like the original one, without merit."

[Updated at 11:30 a.m.: Late Friday morning, Fox attorney Richard L. Stone, accused McCourt of abusing the bankruptcy process out of greed.

"It is supremely ironic that McCourt is once again pointing fingers in order to distract attention from his ongoing scheme to line his pockets at the expense of the Dodgers and their fans," Stone said. "It is clear that the team can be sold at a handsome price that will take care of all creditors without Fox having its rights violated, but McCourt continues to abuse the bankruptcy process in hopes of enriching himself."]

-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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