September 29, 2011 11:50am PT by Eriq Gardner
Read the Fox Sports Lawsuit Over Dodgers TV Rights
The fate of the Los Angeles Dodgers continues to fascinate. Now Fox Sports has filed a complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking to prevent any sale of TV rights in violation of the team's current deal with Fox.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is engaged in a protracted, expensive divorce from wife Jamie that has caused cashflow problems. To help alleviate the situation, the McCourts have targeted TV revenue to keep the franchise afloat. However, discussions have been complicated because Major League Baseball wants to ensure the team isn't selling off rights just to pay the bills.
Earlier this month, the team proposed an auction over future media rights, and now Fox is stepping in to prevent that from happening. In the complaint, Fox alleges that the Dodgers have anticipatorily breached its telecast agreement.
Fox says it holds broadcast rights through the 2013 season as well as the right to exclusive negotiations until October, 2012. In addition, Fox says it holds certain matching rights. In sum, a sale of future media rights can't happen, alleges Fox, without a breach of its current deal.
In addition, the media company says the Dodgers have breached the confidentiality portions of its agreement, and Fox is also suing those who are aiding the team in breaking its agreement.
Here's the complaint: