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Sunday, January 5
Updated: March 13, 5:53 PM ET
 
Report: Murdoch might sell club within next six months

ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- Rupert Murdoch might put the Los Angeles Dodgers up for sale within the next six months, an Australian newspaper reported on its Web site Sunday.

Murdoch's News Corp. would sell the Dodgers to raise cash before bidding on the satellite television service DirecTV, The Age reported, citing unnamed Wall Street analysts.

A Dodgers spokesman acknowledged Sunday that the team could be sold if the right offer surfaced.

"As we've said with previous rumors about our organization being for sale, naturally they would do so if the right buyer and the right price came along," said Derrick Hall, a senior vice president with the team. "However, there has been absolutely no indication that a sale is imminent."

Messages left for News Corp. spokesman Andrew Butcher were not immediately returned. Butcher was quoted as telling the newspaper that no sale was imminent.

"Anyone is going to sell for the right price," Sal Galatioto, managing director of Lehman Brothers' sports practice, told ESPN.com. Galatioto has no knowledge of the Dodgers situation, but he does currently represent buyers and sellers of professional sports teams.

"We're in a time right now where every investor and every company is looking at their portfolio of investments and determining what fits and what does not fit. As non-core assets, sports teams often don't fit."

The Dodgers were called the most unprofitable team in Major League Baseball last year in a study by Forbes Magazine.

News Corp. bought the Dodgers in 1998 to provide games for a California pay-TV channel.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.






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