November 22, 2011 / 6:01 PM / 8 years ago

Mediator appointed in Dodgers-Fox Sports dispute

Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy case judge appointed a mediator to try and sort out the dispute between the baseball team and Fox Sports regarding the sale of the team’s television telecast rights.

Judge Kevin Gross on Monday appointed retired federal judge Joseph Farnan Jr. as the mediator, court documents show.

The parties will share the payment of the mediator’s fees and expenses and the mediation will start on Nov. 28 in Los Angeles, California.

At the end of the process, the mediator will file a report stating whether the matter has been resolved or not, providing any further details, the documents show.

On Monday, the judge had cancelled Tuesday’s hearing on whether to dismiss the team’s bankruptcy filing.

Fox Sports, part of News Corp, which has a contract to broadcast the team’s games through 2013, on Friday had asked the bankruptcy court to consider dismissing the bankruptcy case.

It argued that the team’s bankruptcy was not valid and was an attempt to invalidate Fox’s TV-rights contract.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, has struck a deal with Major League Baseball in which it has agreed to sell the team — including the media rights — and it wants to begin those negotiations immediately rather than wait for the contract to expire.

The hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 30, in which the debtors are looking for approval for the sales procedures for the team, will go ahead, barring an order from the court.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in June as its owner Frank McCourt struggled to meet the payroll.

The case is In re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12010.

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