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.