MLB Anti-Trust Settlement Hits Snag with Objector

Back in 2012, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Major League Baseball and some of its broadcast partners, including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging that the high prices for “out of market” games and the blackouts of local “in market” telecasts constituted violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The suit accused the defendants of protecting exclusive territories that had been carved out for live-game video presentation using “anticompetitive blackouts.” However, recently it seemed that the lawsuit was coming to an end, with Forbes reporting that the…
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NFL Sunday Ticket Litigation: Fans Want the Suit Back in State Court

On Friday, January 29, 2016, plaintiffs involved in a suit over Direct TV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package urged a California federal court to remand the case, which alleges violations of California law, back to state court. The putative class action was initially filed by Robert Gary Lippincott Jr. in Sonoma County Superior Court back in October. Lippincott’s complaint alleged that contracts for Direct TV’s Sunday Ticket Package are void under California law as illegal contracts including “unconscionable provisions.” Specifically, Lippincott brought claims for unconscionability in…
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Judge OKs MLB Antitrust Settlement

On Monday, January 25, 2016, a federal judge gave her approval of a settlement agreement between the MLB and sports fans over territorial blackouts and high prices for out-of-market sports packages. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the country into geographic territories so that only one or a few teams could broadcast…
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MLB Fans’ Antitrust Suit Settles on Brink of Trial

Tuesday, January 19, 2016  was supposed to mark the beginning of a trial between sports fans and Major League Baseball (MLB) over territorial blackouts and high prices for sports packages. However, just moments before the trial was to begin, the two sides reached a settlement. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the…
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NFL and DirecTV’s “Sunday Ticket” Subject of Antitrust Lawsuit

On Friday, October 16, 2015, five plaintiffs brought suit against the NFL, its 32 teams, DirecTV, CBS, NBC, Fox, and ESPN, alleging that current NFL broadcasting agreements violate the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The plaintiffs allege that DirecTV’s “NFL Sunday Ticket” stifles competition and unfairly raises prices. Currently, the NFL Sunday Ticket — an out-of-market sports package — is the only way for viewers to watch regular season games outside of the limited games available on CBS, NBC, Fox, NFL Network, and ESPN. This, the plaintiffs…
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Another Plaintiff Joins the Trend: The NFL-DirecTV Antitrust Litigations

Over the course of Summer 2015, the NFL and DirecTV have been served with nine separate antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the defendants’ “NFL Sunday Ticket” agreement is in violation of the antitrust laws.  All complaints have been filed on behalf of commercial entities, such as bars and restaurants, and the most recent complaint, filed by Jammers, Inc., owner of a bar in Los Angeles, proposes a class action lawsuit against the defendants. While all major American professional sports leagues have out-of-market broadcasting agreements with…
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Rigging The Game: Bar Owner Says NFL-DirectTV Partnership Violates Sherman Anti-Trust Laws

A class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday against the National Football League and broadcast satellite service provider DirecTV over their NFL Sunday Ticket partnership. The suit was brought by Ninth Inning Inc., which owns The Mighty Duck sports bar, on behalf of similarly situated establishments. The complaint generally alleges that the business relationship between the NFL and DirecTV is an impermissible monopolistic partnership in violation of Sherman Anti-Trust laws. In a statement, Ninth Inning described its position: Because DirecTV and the NFL…
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Fans Granted Class Certification in NHL and MLB Blackout Litigation

On Thursday, May 14, Judge Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted class certification to the consumers suing the MLB, NHL, and broadcasters over blackout dates and high prices for sports packages. The fans brought their lawsuit back in 2012 against both leagues, individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV, claiming that broadcast restrictions violated antitrust law. Those restrictions specifically include territorial blackouts for consumers who purchase large sports packages claiming to carry all games as well as many providers’…
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