Frank McCourt needs money to keep the Dodgers running. Fox wants to loan it to him, with the team’s TV rights as collateral. Bill Shaikin reports, however, that Bud Selig has rejected a proposal under which FOX would have loaned $200 million to Dodgers in a deal that would have met both of the parties’ objectives.
On one level you want to feel bad for McCourt. He has something of value: the rights to broadcast Dodgers games. He has someone willing to give him money for it: FOX. But Bud says no. He says no even though he’s certainly willing to let Fred Wilpon leverage his TV Network — the most valuable property of which is baseball rights — in order to get out from under his Wilpon mess.
The difference, I think, is that Frank McCourt has lost all credibility when it comes to taking on debt. Why would you let him mortgage anything else? Especially when, if he defaults, it will result in a TV network getting the rights to broadcast baseball games at bargain basement rates.
We’ve talked more about the Wilpons lately, but I think Frank McCourt is in more trouble. At least the Wilpons have some assets they could sell to raise cash. McCourt put everything in hock even when times were good, leaving nothing of value now. And now he’s stuck.