Major League Baseball pulled the plug on a proposed television deal between the LA Dodgers and Fox.
Document: McCourt Divorce Settlement Agreement
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's decision voids a recent settlement between team owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt. The agreement included a one-day trial Aug. 4 to determine ownership of the team.
In a statement released Monday, Selig said the transaction would further divert Dodger assets to McCourt's "personal needs.'' Under the settlement, almost half of a $385 million up-front payment would go to the McCourts.
The McCourts reached a divorce settlement agreement Friday that was contingent on Selig's approval of a TV deal with Fox. The deal is reportedly worth up to $3 billion.
"This decision was reached after a full and careful consideration of the terms of the proposed transaction and the club's current circumstances,'' Selig said. "It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with Fox would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club.''
Selig said he sent McCourt a letter than detailed his decision.
"Commissioner Selig's letter of rejection is not only a disappointment, but worse, is potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Major League Baseball," McCourt said in a statement released Monday.
"Accordingly, we plan to explore vigorously our options and remedies with respect to Commissioner Selig’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction and our commitment to protect the long-term best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers," he wrote.
McCourt has said approval of the TV deal was critical for the team's financial well-being, but that he team will make its June 30 payroll. If it can't, Selig could take control of the team and put it up for sale.
"Given the magnitude of the transaction, such a diversion of assets would have the effect of mortgaging the future of the franchise to the long- term detriment of the club and its fans," Selig added. "As I have said before, we owe it to the legion of loyal Dodger fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future. This transaction would not accomplish these goals.''
In April, Major League Baseball took control of the troubled franchise. A former official in the Texas Rangers' front office was appointed to monitor the team's finances.