Volume 96, Issue 64
Thursday, January 23, 2003

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Got $650 million? Buy the Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former New York sports executive David Checketts has made a $650 million US offer to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the deal must include one of News Corp.'s moneymaking cable channels, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Checketts, the former president of Madison Square Garden, made his pitch Monday, according to the newspaper, which cited anonymous sources.

News Corp., owner of the Dodgers, had no immediate comment, but chairman Rupert Murdoch has indicated in the past that he would be willing to sell the team, the Times said.

Checketts is believed to be the only potential buyer to have provided a purchase price – one that includes a value for the team, its 120-hectare stadium site and Fox Sports Net 2, the channel that broadcasts the team's games.

"It would be premature for me to comment on anything at this time," Checketts told the Times.

Talks of a possible sale come at a time when News Corp. needs cash to fulfill its longtime goal of buying satellite TV provider DirecTV, which would cost more than $4.5 billion.

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