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Sources: Fox May Have Matching Rights for TWC's Dodgers Deal

While media reports say Time Warner Cable is close to a $7B deal to pick up the Dodgers' local TV rights, sources say Fox Sports has certain back-end rights that may give it the right to match or object to any deal, depending on the specifics of the contract. TWC and the Dodgers' majority owner, Guggenheim Partners, were close to finalizing the deal late last week. One of the hold-ups was in trying to craft a deal that would get around Fox' right to match, sources said. It is believed that Fox would be able to match a straight rights deal or any deal that gives TWC an equity interest in a new channel. Matching rights would not kick in if the Dodgers launch a channel on their own and get TWC to agree to carry it with no equity stake, sources said (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

Sources said that while no deal has been signed between TWC and the Dodgers, an announcement "is imminent." The team's games will be carried on a new RSN developed by Guggenheim Partners (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/22). Control of the RSN "is expected to rest with the Dodgers' owners rather than with Time Warner" (LATIMES.com, 1/22).
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