FOX Sports has sued the Dodgers in an attempt to halt owner Frank McCourt’s proposed sale of the team’s television rights, the Los Angeles Times reported.
McCourt asked a federal bankruptcy judge to authorize an auction of the team’s television rights as part of his reorganization plan to hold on to the financially struggling ballclub.
But FOX Sports filed suit Tuesday asking the judge to block any rights deal that does not abide by the terms of its current contract, including the network’s exclusive negotiating rights with the team through November 2012.
According to the Times, the FOX suit also seeks unspecified damages, claiming the Dodgers already violated specific terms of the agreement by sharing broadcast rights information despite "direct and explicit warnings."
Dodgers spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin told the Times the team has "fully complied" with the terms of its contract with FOX Sports.
McCourt has said the proposed auction would allow the cash-strapped franchise to emerge from bankruptcy court on solid financial footing. The embattled owner filed for bankruptcy in June in an apparent last-ditch effort to keep Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig from seizing the team.
MLB last week asked the judge to order the sale of the Dodgers, saying McCourt’s attempts to hold on to his floundering franchise were "dead on arrival."
MLB said an immediate sale was necessary to ensure the ballclub emerges "quickly from bankruptcy under new ownership and with the financial stability necessary to adequately prepare for the 2012 baseball season and beyond."
A hearing to examine MLB’s request has been set for Oct. 12. The Dodgers filed a motion Tuesday requesting the date be pushed back to Dec. 11.
FOX Sports is owned by News Corp., which also owns NewsCore.