Fox Contract Restricts Dodgers' Ability To Launch Own RSN
The Dodgers' contract with Fox Sports "restricts the team's ability to launch a regional sports network even after the contract expires," according to sources cited by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Fox and the Dodgers "faced off in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday over whether the team could hold an accelerated sale of television rights." Fox "is asking the court to enforce its contract as is, most notably a provision that forbids the Dodgers from negotiating with another media outlet for another year." However, sources said that "under a previously undisclosed provision, the contract also hampers the Dodgers' ability to form a regional sports network after the contract expires so long as Time Warner Cable, Comcast or ESPN is an equity partner." The contract "would not absolutely prohibit those Fox competitors from partnering in some form in a Dodgers cable channel, but what could be costly hurdles would in theory give the team an incentive to stick with Fox" (L.A. TIMES, 12/8).