TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Adding Up the Frank McCourt-News Corp. Fuzzy Math

Wall Street Journal reporter Matthew Futterman has a great rundown this afternoon of the behind-the-scenes negotiations in recent months between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and executives of News Corp.’s Fox division, and how they ultimately forced MLB’s hand. McCourt, after sucking out more than $100 million from the franchise, went into overdrive this year to renew a cable TV broadcast contract with Fox that expires at the end of 2013.

According to Futterman, the sequence of events went something like this:

1) At the beginning of 2011, McCourt and Fox agreed on a standalone $200 million loan. Sources tell Futterman that one of the main reasons MLB commissioner Bud Selig refused to approve it is that he feared McCourt would allocate a substantial amount of the cash to personal considerations.

2) Earlier this month, McCourt and Fox agreed on a $2.5 billion, 20-year broadcast deal renewal. As part of the arrangement, McCourt would get $300 million up front, but once again, Selig said no out of concern that the money would go to places it shouldn’t.

3) McCourt then arranged a $30 million personal loan from Fox, which Selig saw as a blatant attempt by the owner to circumvent the above decrees. Three strikes, and McCourt was out.

Update – 04/22/11: The LA Times has different figures for 2) – $3 billion and $375 million – and says Selig has not yet ruled on the deal.

Mediabistro Course

Magazine Writing

Magazine WritingStarting September 4, learn how to get your work in top publications! You'll learn how to create captivating stories editors will want and readers will love, understand which magazines are right for your stories, craft compelling pitch letters, and more! You'll leave this class with two polished articles and corresponding pitch letters. Register now!