Why a Dodgers Auction Could Rob Fox Sports of Millions of Dollars
Time Warner and Comcast are circling TV rights as a July 20 bankruptcy court ruling could send the Los Angeles baseball team's local TV money to a competitor and cripple Prime Ticket.
Like a forgotten child, Fox Sports stands to be the big collateral loser in the bitter divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt, which morphed into a battle between Frank and Major League Baseball over ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fox's sweetheart deal for Dodger TV rights until 2027 -- agreed to in April as McCourt struggled for cash to make the team's payroll and fund a big payoff to Jamie -- could come crashing down July 20 if a Delaware bankruptcy judge forces the Dodgers to auction the rights to the highest bidder. This comes as regional sports networks (RSNs) like Fox's Prime Ticket have emerged as lifelines for companies trying to stem the exodus of audiences to online viewing. An auction could be a windfall for the Dodgers but a big blow to Fox Sports' lucrative dominance of the L.A. cable sports market.
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