According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who has been all over this story, Fox has advanced Dodgers owner Frank McCourt money in order to help cover the team’s operating expenses.
Fox owes the Dodgers $35 million for television rights this year, $37 million next year and $39 million in 2013, according to court documents.
Naturally, many find the timing as curious, such as Andy Dolich, a former top executive with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Athletics and Memphis Grizzlies.
“It’s a bit odd, because the people and the entities that own these teams usually have the money to operate the team well into the future,” said Dolich, who emphasized that he has not reviewed the Dodgers’ finances or how the McCourt divorce might have affected them.
“Maybe it’s not odd, in terms of what’s going on, but I haven’t heard of a lot of teams that do that.”
Shaikin reports that McCourt has discussed a new television deal with Fox that would likely give him the money he needs to settle his divorce case, but as I wrote last week, Commissioner Bud Selig has the right to reject any such deal.
On a related note, yesterday a judge finalized his ruling in which he threw out a post-nuptial agreement that would have provided McCourt with full ownership of the team.
And so, McCourt is now covered in the short-term, but unless something changes, it still looks like an eventual sale of the team is inevitable.