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Fox puts the squeeze on Frank McCourt

Sep 28, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Frank McCourt AP

Major League Baseball is trying to force a sale of the Dodgers and has even threatened to drum them out of the league. But I don’t think either of those things present as serious a threat to Frank McCourt as this does:

Fox Sports filed suit against the Dodgers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court late Tuesday, alleging the team has breached its current television contract in pursuit of a new one. … The suit asks that the court reject any such sale except in accordance with the current contract, under which Fox retains exclusive negotiating rights through November 2012 as well as the right to match any other offer. The auction process proposed by McCourt and his attorneys would not honor those rights.

McCourt’s only hope of coming out of this is getting a new, lucrative TV deal. If he can’t auction the rights and, instead, has to deal with only Fox in a situation where they have all the leverage, I don’t see how the Dodgers emerge from bankruptcy with McCourt at the helm. Or, if they do, I don’t see how they do it without effectively becoming a small market team.

  1. scareduck - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    I want to see this man on a street corner with a tattered cardboard sign, “Will work for food”. I have never in my life so very much wanted to see someone totally ruined.

    • heynerdlinger - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      You’ll never see Frank McCourt carrying that sign. He’d have to be willing to work first.

    • dlevalley - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      More like “Will borrow money for food.”

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      It’ll never happen, as this huge douche still holds ownership of properties needed for parking formerly held by the Dodgers even if he looses the team in bankruptcy court. What a *%^%I*^ head this guy is.

      • paperlions - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Johnny many holding companies are in the bankruptcy action, including those that hold the stadium and park lots (I think)…in any case, the team isn’t worth anything without the money making attachments (teams don’t make any money, stadiums, parking lots, and concessions make money)…so auctioning off the team wouldn’t do anything to solve the debt problems…because no one would pay anything for it without the attachments.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        PL, I think you may be mistaken, although I really hope you’re very right about what you said.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Fox is putting on the full mccourt press, if you will.

  3. paperlions - Sep 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    …and because in bankruptcy court the primary concern is for the creditors (and not the bankrupted entity), a new contract with Fox negotiated while Fox has all of the leverage would not seem to be of great benefit to the creditors…compared to…say….the sale of all Dodger-related properties by the guy with no money.

  4. ftbramwell - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    It’s been a while since I reviewed the bankruptcy code but, based on my limited understanding of the process, a Debtor-In-Possession can assume or reject executory contracts.

  5. Old Gator - Sep 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    McCourt has to be feeling a lot like Luke, Han and Leia in the trash compactor on the Death Star – except that one-eyed trouser snake that keeps peeking out at him is his own.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      And I don’t think you can buy an R2-D2 on credit, so he might not fare as well as that previous trio

  6. lanflfan - Sep 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Wow, I can’t remember the last time FOX did something positive for Dodger fans.

    Others please feel free to pile on, maybe McDouche will get out faster. He obviously can’t take a hint, even it is the size of the Sun, and it way past time to exorcise this demon from MLB forever.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    When you see FOX going after someone because of THEIR shady tactics, you know Hell is about to become overwhelmed with blizzards.

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