The Los Angeles Dodgers are accusing Fox Sports of illegally attempting to interfere with the sale of the bankrupt team and all of its assets, including media rights.
The team filed the complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Wednesday, alleging that Fox sent a "cease and desist" letter to the Dodgers' financial adviser who was soliciting bids for TV rights to Dodgers games.
Fox is firing back because they hold a contract to televise Dodgers games through 2013 and believe the deal gives the network exclusive negotiating rights through Nov. 30, 2012. In the cease and desist letter, an attorney for Fox wrote:
"Allowing others to bid or express interest in the media rights for the Dodgers is a clear breach of the letter and spirit of the exclusive negotiation term."
The Dodgers, who are hoping to find a buyer by April 30th of 2012, have filed a motion for the court to allow them to market media rights for 2014 and beyond, writing to the judge:
"[By] obtaining firm offers, LAD can demonstrate to buyers the substantial value of the post-2013 telecast rights…LAD has determined in the exercise of its business judgment that marketing the post-2013 telecast Rights at this time will further the interests of LAD, as well as its creditors."
A spokesman for Fox has called this move by the Dodgers "the latest chapter in the current owner's ongoing scheme to avoid honoring his contractual obligations."