The final potential hurdle in the $2.15 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to a group led by Magic Johnson appears to be on the cusp. According to the LA Times, the Dodgers have agreed to provide written confirmation to FOX Sport that Time Warner Cable will not be directly or indirectly involved in the purchase of the club. According to the report:
Under its settlement with the Dodgers, Fox had the right to challenge any sale in which rival Time Warner Cable was involved. The Dodgers already had told the court that TWC was not involved, but Fox asked for assurances from the new owners.
FOX, who is the current broadcast partner of the Dodgers, filed papers asking for reassurance that Time Warner would not somehow be tied directly to the club. FOX Sports, through PrimeTicket, have right of first negotiation for a new broadcast agreement in November of this year. The contract expires at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
The upcoming broadcast deal will likely see a floor of $4 billion and could go for as much as $5 billion. FOX, TWC, and possibly CBS have all been mentioned. The Dodgers might also start their own regional sports network.
On Friday, US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross is expected to approve the sale. The deal is expected to be finalized no later than Monday, April 30. That day current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt owes his former wife Jamie $131 million as part of their divorce settlement.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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