LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers can't shop their local television rights because Fox Sports has a valid contract for them, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision was a blow to efforts by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to include the television package in offers to potential buyers of the cash-strapped franchise, The New York Times reported.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Stark overruled an earlier bankruptcy court decision that had given the Dodgers and their creditors a green light to market their future television rights in a bid to fetch a better price.
But Fox and its Prime Ticket affiliate insist they have a legally binding agreement through 2013.
If the broadcast rights were available, McCourt could fetch as much as $1 billion for the team in a bankruptcy sale, the Times said.
Major League Baseball this year nixed his bid for an accelerated deal with Fox Sports that would have paid the team $3 billion over 17 years.
The league instead is seeking a better price among a larger group of potential bidders including Fox, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, DirecTV and others, MLB.com reported.