SBD/30/Franchises

NEW FACES, SAME STORY: PIRATES HAVE PROBLEM WITH BUYER

     Liberty Media's offer of $30M in cash to a new group seeking
the Pirates could end up hurting the group's effort.  Liberty,
parent of PrimeSports KBL, is not seeking an equity stake in the
team, but rather would count the funds as an advance towards
securing the team's broadcast rights.  MLB owners are said to be
opposed to more teams being bought by "media conglomerates," and
they also view pre-selling of broadcast rights as debt, not
equity.  The new group is led by CA newspaper heir Kevin
McClatchy.  Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy still wants to "salvage"
the bid of John Rigas, which is "in limbo because it doesn't
contain enough cash to service a heavy debt load" (PITTSBURGH
POST-GAZETTE, 6/30).
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