Around The Web: McCourt Saga About To Get Real

Credit: The LFP

ESPN: Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce broke down the settlement between Frank and Jamie McCourt.

What makes this settlement different from the last one?

Nearly four months ago, the couple reached a settlement agreement only to have it fall apart days later. The principal difference between this settlement and the one announced in June is that this time, the settlement is not contingent on baseball’s approval of a future media rights deal. The previous settlement vanished when Frank could not secure a long-term rights agreement with Fox. Here, the deal is done, and Frank now has an affirmative obligation to pay Jamie $130 million by a specific date.

That’s basically the gist of the settlement, but what’s going on soon is the actual court session.

What’s at stake for Frank and the Dodgers in bankruptcy court?

Beginning Oct. 31, the parties will converge for a week of hearings in the club’s bankruptcy case. Frank seeks a determination that he can go against Fox and baseball to sell the club’s television rights. League attorneys argue that such a sale would breach the Dodgers’ existing contract with Fox Sports, leaving the team subject to substantial legal claims, while also providing grounds for termination from the league for failure to abide by its covenants.

It’s clear Frank’s ownership cannot survive if the court blocks his attempt to sell the club’s future broadcast rights. It is the key to his plan of reorganization, and for now, it is the only plan on the table. Baseball seeks to propose its own plan, under which the club would be sold. The league claims those television rights are the last major source of untapped revenue available to the Dodgers and that potential bidders would be much less interested in purchasing the team if an unfavorable media rights deal is in place.

Please get him the fuck out. Please.

Los Angeles Times: Bill Shaikin reports that MLB has accused Frank McCourt of taking 189.16 million from the Dodgers.

In the filing, the league claimed McCourt funneled $73 million in parking revenue through Blue Land Co., a non-team related entity; used $61.16 million in team revenue to pay off personal debts; and took $55 million from team revenue for personal distributions.

The Dodgers claim Selig approved the business structures about which he now complains, including the Blue Land mechanism by which the Dodgers pay $14 million in annual rent to play in their own stadium. The league claims McCourt misled Selig about some of those structures and concealed others.

The Dodgers also charge Selig with bad faith in declaring he would reject any television contract proposed by McCourt. The league claims any deal would necessarily require McCourt to divert some team revenue for personal use, including a $130-million divorce settlement.

That claim, the Dodgers said, is “simply make believe.”


Dodger Divorce: Josh Fisher with a link to the differences between the MLB’s plan and the Dodgers’ plan, according to the MLB.


Los Angeles Times Blog: Hong Chih Kuo‘s elbow is barking. Guy can’t catch a break.

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