The Dodgers sued Fox Sports on Wednesday morning, alleging that the television company is trying to “interfere” with the sale of the team in bankruptcy. In a sharply worded court filing Wednesday night, Fox said it would ask that the Dodgers be dismissed from bankruptcy.
In the process, Fox slammed Major League Baseball as “Prime Ticket’s former ally” and claimed the only reason Dodgers owner Frank McCourt wants to sell the team’s TV rights now is to put “value rightfully belonging to Prime Ticket in his own pocket.”
The shifting alliances in the Dodgers’ legal drama have left Fox isolated in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In June, before the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy, Fox aligned with McCourt on a proposed TV contract. After Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal, Fox sided with MLB in opposing the Dodgers.
In order to get McCourt to sell, MLB agreed to remain neutral in the fight between the Dodgers and Fox. On Nov. 1, McCourt and MLB reached an agreement under which he would sell the Dodgers and the league would not oppose an effort by McCourt to market the team’s television rights.
The Dodgers’ current TV contract forbids the team from negotiating with any party other than Fox through Nov. 30, 2012, a provision the team has asked the court to declare unenforceable.
Last week, Fox sent a letter to the investment bank handling the Dodgers’ sale demanding that it “cease and desist” from claiming it could solicit bids for the team’s TV rights regardless of the current Fox contract.