Potential bidders for the Texas Rangers have been raising money ahead of Wednesday’s auction in bankruptcy court, and that has led to talks with executives at Fox Sports, owner of the regional sports cable network that owns the team’s local broadcasting rights, about extending that TV deal. Fox Sports, which like The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., wants to keep a new owner from starting a rival local sports network when the current deal between Fox and the team expires in the coming years, according to people involved in the talks.
The biggest threat to Fox would appear to be Mark Cuban (above), who also owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and would theoretically have the easiest time starting a regional network if he bids successfully for the Rangers. But Mr. Cuban said in an email Sunday that he doubts he would start his own regional network if he won the bid for the team.
If Fox’s negotiations for a new broadcast deal go sour, the people involved said News Corp. has a plan of last resort—bidding for the team, which is expected to sell for more than $500 million. David Hill, chairman of Fox Sports, declined to comment.