Report: News Corp. preparing Dodgers bid

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The list of interested parties in the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise now reportedly includes News Corporation, the Rupert Murdoch-led media behemoth.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “News Corp.’s Fox unit joined the battle to buy the Dodgers Tuesday, signing a nondisclosure agreement with bankers handling the sale of the storied baseball franchise, according to people with knowledge of the process.”

News Corp. previously owned the West Coast baseball team from 1998 until 2004, when Fox Entertainment, Inc. sold the Dodgers to businessman Frank McCourt.

The Financial Times reports that News Corp. “is not interested in full ownership” of the team, and instead wants to purchase a minority interest. It remains unclear who News Corp. might seek as an investment partner.

News Corp. already has a financial interest in the Dodgers through Fox’s ownership of the team’s broadcast rights, a contract which runs through 2013.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June, shortly after Major League Baseball appointed a representative to oversee day-to-day operations. ESPN reported at the time that the team was “increasingly paralyzed by its owners’ bitter divorce.”

The growing list of interested parties is said to also include: Stanley Gold, CEO of Shamrock Holdings, the investment arms of the Disney family; Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team; and Rick Caruso, a Los Angeles-based real estate developer. Caruso has joined with former Dodgers and Yankees manager Joe Torre in his quest for the team.

The team is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

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