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L.A. Dodgers Secret TV Deal With MLB Fuels Spending Spree

The Los Angeles Dodgers have shot out of bankruptcy and into the ranks of baseball’s biggest spenders, fueled partly by a secret agreement between former owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball that may limit the revenue the team is obliged to share with less prosperous clubs.

A settlement ending their 2011 battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court gives the Dodgers’ new owners a chance to cap income subject to revenue-sharing from a proposed regional sports network at about $84 million a year, according to five people familiar with the confidential “special terms.” With TV sports-rights experts saying the team could get as much as $225 million a year from a network’s rights fees, the Dodgers may enjoy an annual unshared windfall of as much as $141 million.