U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross ruled on Thursday that the Los Angeles Dodgers can sell their television rights months before the team’s contract with Fox Sports expires -- a significant win for the team in its ongoing legal saga.
Based on Fox’s current contract with the Dodgers it had an exclusive negotiation window until Nov. 30, but Gross’ ruling cuts that to Jan. 14. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team by April 30, so if no deal is brokered with Fox he’ll have three months to seal a different deal.
The Dodgers had initially wanted to re-up with Fox, but Major League Baseball rejected that deal, which ultimately resulted in owner Frank McCourt agreeing to sell the team.
When McCourt did that, he also indicated he wanted to sell the TV rights to increase the team’s value.
This caused a flurry of legal action between Fox and the Dodgers, each team having a suit against the other.
Major League Baseball agreed to remain neutral.
The judge will soon issue a written ruling, and Fox’s attorney Gregory W. Werkheiser said Fox would appeal it.