The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers has attracted some of the wealthiest people in Los Angeles and in the country, as well as several well-known figures in the sports world. One of the people who was part of the initial round of bidding, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, dropped out after deciding the price for the team was too rich for his blood.
The price of the team is expected to top $1.5 billion, an exorbitant amount considering that Frank McCourt paid a reported $371 million for the team in 2004. Cuban on Monday, speaking with Access Hollywood, called the sale of the Dodgers "a media rights deal."
The driving force behind the escalating price of the team is their upcoming television rights deal. The Dodgers are under contract with Fox through 2013 in what is seen as a below market deal - roughly $38 million per year to televised two-thirds of the team's games - and a new television deal is expected to be valued as high as $4 billion over a 20-year period. The Angels signed a new 20-year, $3 billion deal with Fox Sports, giving them a revenue windfall that helped fund the Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson signings, and the Dodgers' new deal is expected to eclipse that mark.
"The economics got so out of control because the Dodgers’ TV deal’s up for bid and so there’s a lot of groups coming in going, ‘This TV deal’s worth so much money that we’re gonna pay whatever it takes to get the Dodgers’," Cuban said on Monday. "And so they’re buying the TV rights deal first and the team second."
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