News Corp. Bleeding Dodger Blue? - Multichannel

News Corp. Bleeding Dodger Blue?

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In an apparent effort to fund another attempt at purchasing DirecTV Inc.,
News Corp. is shopping its ownership in Major League Baseball's Los Angeles
Dodgers.

It's unclear, though, if any potential sale would include either of News
Corp.'s two Los Angeles-based regional sports networks.

News Corp. purchased the Dodgers and the team's home, Dodger Stadium, from
the O'Malley family in 1997 for $310 million, in part to provide programming for
its regional sports networks, Fox Sports West and Fox Sports West 2.

But while the deal has provided valuable programming for the networks,
published reports said News Corp. is losing about $40 million to $50 million
annually on the team.

Already, one prospective buyer for the Dodgers has stepped up to the
plate.

Former Madison Square Garden president Dave Checketts is reportedly offering
as much as $650 million for the Dodgers, the stadium and FSW 2.

Representatives from News Corp. and MLB would not comment.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that News Corp. has retained
New York investment bank Allen & Co. to broker the sale.

News Corp. is not the only media conglomerate looking to move its interests
in professional sports franchises. The Walt Disney Co. is eyeing a sale of its
stake in the World Series champion Anaheim Angels.

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