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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More On McCourt's Proposed TV Deal

McCourt was desperate when he went hat-in-hand to ask Fox for a personal loan, but Steve Dilbeck provides some additional insight into just how little leverage Frank had (all emphasis mine):
Major League Baseball, whose national broadcasting contract is with Fox, was nonetheless seriously irate. We should all thank Fox for its stupidity, since it essentially gave Commissioner Bud Selig his excuse to take over the Dodgers. Fox gave McCourt the loan because Time Warner had batted its eyelashes at McCourt and Fox feared losing the Dodgers to the cable giant. This despite Fox’s current contract giving it the right to match any competing offer.

MLB took over the Texas Rangers last year, and shortly after the club was sold to Nolan Ryan and his group, the Rangers signed a 20-year, $1.6-billion deal with Fox. Which would be barely more than half of the deal McCourt supposedly had lined up.

Joe Flint in the Times' Company Town blog writes that "there was no reason other than paranoia to lend McCourt money, especially since Fox had already advanced McCourt money on the current TV deal, much to the chagrin of Major League Baseball." Loans on top of loans.

Update 4/27: This originally was titled "McCourt's Proposed TV Deal Less Than The Rangers' Annually", but I mentally inverted this. The title is corrected above, but still, for the Dodgers to be receiving not even 50% more than the Rangers annually is nuts.

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Actually, Rob, it sounds to me like the Dodgers' deal was MORE than the Rangers'. The Dodgers would get $1.3 billion over 10 years, whereas the Rangers would get a just a little more, but spread over a much longer period of time, and therefore a much lower annual value.
You're right; corrected above with explanatory notes.

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