Now News Corp Wants a Piece of the Dodgers

Is there anyone left on the planet who doesn’t have their eyes on the Dodgers? Mark Cuban tried, but the price was too high. Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Rick Caruso and Roy Disney are all still in the running. Now Rupert Murdoch and News Corp want a piece. Next thing you know Jimma Hoffa is going to resurface and want in on the action.

News Corps’ interest, however, isn’t to buy the whole team, reports the Wall Street Journal. They just want enough of the pie to help their Fox division maintain its media stake in the team.

Fox is looking to become a minority investor to improve its chances of keeping the team’s television rights. The people say the company is interested in a 15-20% stake and is also offering to use its resources to help finance an acquisition of the team.

Fox owns the Southern California regional sports network Prime Ticket, the Dodgers’ current local broadcast partner. But that deal will expire after the 2013 season. Media rights beyond 2013, the team’s most valuable asset, are at the center of the sale of the franchise, with several potential bidders planning offers based on how much the team will earn from its next local media rights deal or even future revenue from a new Dodger-themed regional sports network that a new owner could choose to launch before the 2014 season.

Pretty bold move. Fox must really be feeling the heat from Time Warner, who has their own plans to nab the Dodger’s media rights.

News Corp used to own the Dodgers from 1998 to 2004.