The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June, and in September asked the court to auction off their media rights as part of a strategy to become solvent again. Fox Sports Net asked a federal judge to dismiss the case, saying that the team was perfectly capable of fulfilling its obligations, but using bankruptcy laws to avoid doing so.
On Thursday, the judge ruled that the Dodgers can sell their rights in an auction, which is seen as a huge win for Frank McCourt and the Dodgers, as the rights will make the team more attractive to potential buyers. From the Los Angeles Times:
Gross issued his ruling at the end of a two-day hearing. He said he believed the accelerated sale of television rights was in the best interest of the Dodgers and their creditors. The creditors' committee supported the Dodgers in the hearing.
The Dodgers had a contract with Fox Sports that would have prevented the team from auctioning off the rights until November 30, 2012, according to the Times. The accelerated timetable will likely increase the attractiveness of the franchise to potential buyers, as McCourt has agreed to sell the team by April 30, 2012. Fox has until January 14, 2012 to negotiate a new contract with the Dodgers, after which the team can accept bids from other organizations.
Fox Sports Net is planning to challenge the ruling and request a 14-day stay.
Just in time to strike quickly and replace James Loney with Albert Pujols! Now where did that number for Dan Lozano go ...