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With No TV Deal, Dodgers File Chapter 11

With no resolution in sight over a lucrative Fox Sports TV deal that would give owner Frank McCourt the cash influx he needs to continue operating the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday. The move allows the team to use $150 million for daily operations and gives the franchise some time to find a new TV deal; Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig rejected the proposed long-term deal with Fox last week, saying “the transaction is structured to facilitate the further diversion of Dodgers assets for the personal needs of Mr. McCourt.” Baseball had already taken control of the team in April. Said McCourt — who faces a costly divorce that could force the sale of the team, skyrocketing payroll obligations, declining attendance and a commissioner that is sick of it all — in a statement Monday: Read More »

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Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt Says Baseball Is Blocking Team’s TV Deal

The war of words between Major League Baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt escalated today when McCourt said during an interview on CNBC that commissioner Bud Selig was ducking his calls and suggested that the league was purposefully not approving a TV-rights contract that would infuse much-needed cash into the team. McCourt is in New York for meetings with league officials about approving the TV deal with Fox, which the embattled owner said would give him $285 million immediately. “The transaction is complete,” McCourt told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “I’m ready to sign it. Fox is ready to sign it. By the way, this just isn’t something we pulled a rabbit out of our hat in the last week or so. This is a transaction we’ve been working on for six months, and Bud is fully aware of that. It’s a transaction consistent with what’s been approved for other teams.”

The Dodgers are in financial straights, with McCourt pulling out $100 million from the team over the past seven years for personal use, including fighting a messy divorce. That, plus word of an arranged $30 million personal loan from Fox to McCourt to cover the team’s payroll, led the league last week to take over day-to-day financial operations of the club. McCourt has resisted the move, saying today that the Fox deal would solve any problems. “I’ve tried to talk to Bud for several weeks. He’s ducking
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