New York Dodgers settle lawsuit with Fox

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox settled their lawsuit late Tuesday night, removing an impediment to the sale of the bankrupt team.

In a motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the Dodgers said they were abandoning their attempt to market future media rights and will adhere to their contract with Fox's Prime Ticket subsidiary, which kept intact its exclusive negotiating window from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30 this year.

"This agreement is a significant step towards a successful sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers," the team said in a statement. "It resolves all of the parties' differences relating to the telecast rights agreement with Fox. This consensual resolution of all disputes between the Debtors and Fox will enable the sale of the Dodgers to proceed forward, free of any uncertainty relating to the various issues under dispute, with the continued objective of maximizing value for the Debtors and their estates."

Fox Sports Net West, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., sued the Dodgers in September, claiming that owner Frank McCourt's attempt to sell media rights for 2014 and beyond violated its current broadcast agreement.

While U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross ruled the Dodgers could go ahead with the proposed media sale, U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark said Dec. 24 he likely will agree with Fox's position that Gross erred. That caused the Dodgers to back down.

As part of the settlement, which must be approved by the bankruptcy court, McCourt still owes Fox $30 million that he borrowed on April 13 to make the team's payroll.

Published: Thu, Jan 12, 2012