The Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports settlement over the team's TV right was approved Wednesday by U.S. bankruptcy court judge Kevin Gross, paving the way for the expedited sale of the embattled franchise.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had been seeking to sell the rights before the team so as to enhance the value of his Chavez Ravine properties.
In reaching this deal on Tuesday, the Dodgers gave up that pursuit. In exchange, Fox has dropped its complaints about the upcoming sale.
"This agreement is a significant step towards a successful sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers," the team said in a statement. "[…]This consensual resolution of all disputes between the Debtors and Fox will enable the sale of the Dodgers to proceed forward, free of any uncertainty relating to the various issues under dispute, with the continued objective of maximizing value for the Debtors and their estates."
This ends a drawn-out dispute over the very lucrative TV rights that enmeshed both sides in litigation. With the Dodgers looking to auction the rights before the sale, Fox protested because it claimed to have exclusive negotiating rights. One judge ruled for the Dodgers, another for Fox.
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That was far from the only dispute in the Dodgers' long march to a sale. McCourt also faced legal challenges from his ex-wife Jamie and Major League Baseball.
As part of settling that last dispute, McCourt agreed to sell the team by April 30. With this latest settlement, that time table looks to be pushed up.
Potential bidders include groups fronted by local sports icons like Magic Johnson and Steve Garvey, as well as a land developer Rick Caruso.
(Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.)