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Dodgers, Fox get another week for mediation

November 29, 2011 |  8:29 am

The Dodgers and Fox Sports will not fight their battle in court -- not this week, at least.

The two sides had been set for a hearing on Wednesday, with the Dodgers asking for permission to sell the team's television rights one year before their contract with Fox allows them to do so.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross last week appointed retired judge Joseph Farnan, who mediated the sale agreement between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball, to try to resolve the dispute between the Dodgers and Fox. The parties must have made some progress on the first day of mediation Monday because Gross on Tuesday postponed the scheduled Wednesday hearing until Dec. 7.

McCourt's initial bid to sell the television rights -- in order to finance his continued ownership of the team -- was opposed by his ex-wife, the creditors' committee, Major League Baseball and Fox.

In the two months since then, he has reached a divorce settlement with his ex-wife and a sale agreement with MLB. The creditors now have backed McCourt -- and his argument that a television rights sale now could result in a higher sale price for the team -- leaving Fox isolated in opposition.

Blackstone Advisory Partners, the firm brokering the Dodgers' sale, has distributed confidentiality agreements to prospective buyers and is expected to send out preliminary financial information next week.


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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times