Moorad moves to expedite Padres' TV deal
Withdraws application for control; two years remain for completion
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres vice chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad has withdrawn his application to Major League Baseball for a control transfer in order to expedite the approval of the club's television broadcasting agreement, the team announced Friday.
Two years remain for Moorad to complete his purchase of the franchise.
"With Opening Day less than one month away, [chairman] John Moores and I believe our top priority is to ensure that Padres fans will be able to watch broadcasts of what we believe is an exciting baseball team," Moorad said.
"I remain fully committed to the San Diego Padres and our fans, and am looking forward to the 2012 season."
The club announced that it will have no further comment until MLB completes its approval process.
The Padres are expected to partner with the new Fox Sports San Diego to televise several exhibition games and regular-season games. No formal announcement on the deal has been made, though the network has made several hires, including former Major Leaguer Mark Sweeney to be its studio analyst.
The first broadcast of the spring is scheduled to be a game against the Royals at 7:05 p.m. PT on March 17 in Peoria.
"I have spoken with San Diego Padres chairman John Moores and vice chairman/CEO Jeff Moorad," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "They have informed me that Jeff is withdrawing his control transfer application of the Padres at this time in order to focus on completing the club's local television contract. I am pleased that John and Jeff are working on ensuring that the club's games will be televised this season and beyond, and I know that they are acting in the best interests of baseball, the franchise and the great fans of San Diego."
Moorad had a five-year deal to purchase the team in its entirety. With the urging of Moores, Moorad stepped up that process by more than two years in January. Moorad previously confirmed that he was poised to make an all-cash transaction and that cash and the signed documents were in escrow.
On Jan. 12, the approval of Moorad's purchase was tabled as Major League owners asked for clarification on several outstanding financial issues, Selig said at the time.
"We support this process and are very proud to be part of the process," Moorad said in January. "I look forward to answering some technical questions and moving it along. We got word that there were these questions and we tried to answer them this morning. But it wasn't possible to work that quickly. I told them I was happy to defer and take it up at a more appropriate time."
Moorad increased his original 35-percent ownership of the team to 49 percent in 2010. He originally brought in an ownership group of a dozen investors, including Troy Aikman, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, in 2009. The remaining $200-plus million is coming from his current group and doesn't include any new investors.