MLB Continues Fight Against Fans in Antitrust Cable Lawsuit

In 2012, sports fans filed suit against the MLB, NHL, and the Yankees Sports & Entertainment Network (YES), among others, alleging that their TV “blackout” rules are illegal. Sports leagues’ TV blackout rules have long frustrated sports fans. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin provided an example of a typical situation for out-of-market sports fans in her 2015 opinion granting class action certification: A Yankees fan who lives in Iowa cannot purchase only the YES Network—as a fan living in New York can—he must…
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Parents Television Council Wishes MTV & Miley Really Would Stop

The Parents Television Council (PTC) was not impressed with MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show (VMAs). The conservative watchdog group, known for its protests against various television programs, blasted the Viacom-owned cable network for its raunchy telecast on that premiered on August 25, 2013. This time, the PTC is protesting former child star Miley Cyrus’ performance on the 2013 VMAs that included sexually suggestive conduct. The one-time Disney star repeatedly grabbed her crotch and “dry-humped” singer Robin Thicke, as he sang his hit song “Blurred…
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On March 27, 2013, in a narrow 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Third Circuit decision upholding the class-action certification in a lawsuit accusing Comcast Corp. of unlawfully monopolizing the Philadelphia cable market. The Court’s decision to reverse the appellate court ruling hinged on the methodology the Third Circuit used in calculating damages – namely, that the decision to certify the class had impermissibly ignored expert testimony and wrongfully added damage amounts related to claims that had been dismissed.  Justice Scalia…
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Al Gore Currently in Court over Al Jazeera Sale

Former Vice President Al Gore, Current TV LLC and others were recently sued in California state court by John Terenzio, an entertainment consultant from the Los Angeles consulting firm TAP, Inc.  Terenzio accuses Gore and the other defendants of selling Current TV to the Al Jazeera Media Network two months ago without providing Terenzio the compensation he claims he is owed for setting up the terms of the transaction with the Qatar-based media giant.  The suit for breach of implied agreement seeks at least $5…
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Writers Call Foul on FX Over ‘The League’

Writers Joseph Balsamo and Peter Ciancarelli filed a copyright infringement suit in the U.S. District Court in New York against cable network FX, accusing the network of using their idea for a television show as the basis for its popular program “The League.” “The League” premiered in October 2009, and the fourth season is scheduled to air next month. According to the writers, they filed a television treatment titled “The Commissioner” with the Writers Guild of America in December 2006.  The treatment was also posted…
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Supreme Court to Review Comcast Class Certification Appeal

The Supreme Court announced on June 25, 2012, that it will be reviewing the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision in Comcast v. Behrend.  The Court will limit its review to the question of “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.”  Comcast sought the review, arguing that the plaintiff class does not have the…
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