SBD/February 25, 2011/Franchises

Bud Selig Rejects Plan For Fox To Loan Frank McCourt $200M

McCourt's debt said to have exceeded $430M as of November '09
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has "rejected a proposal under which Fox would have lent about $200 million" to Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt, according to sources cited by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. The sources indicated that McCourt "would have used the Dodgers' cable television rights as collateral, extending the team's current contract with Fox by as many as four years if he did not repay the loan." Selig "made his decision several weeks ago." Since then, McCourt has "continued to explore financing options that would enable him to satisfy the commissioner and manage a debt that, according to court records, exceeded $430 million as of November 2009." Steve Sugerman, a spokesperson for McCourt, "declined to discuss how Selig's decision might affect McCourt's ability to manage the Dodgers' finances." Shaikin notes Selig has indicated that he "might withhold approval of any minority investor or broadcast contract proposed by McCourt." The Fox loan "could have enabled the company to secure an extension to the Dodgers' rights at about $50 million per year had McCourt not repaid the proposed loan." David Boies, an attorney for Jamie McCourt, said that "any such deal should trigger 'court supervision' of the Dodgers' finances, so as to ensure the value of the team is not harmed until the court determines ownership." Frank and Jamie divorced in October, but have "not reached a financial settlement" (L.A. TIMES, 2/25).
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