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Blackout Restrictions Newsbeat

Thursday, May 14, 2015

MLB, NHL Fans May Seek to Alter How Games Aired, Judge Rules

Baseball and hockey fans can seek to change the way professional games are aired, a judge said in allowing them to sue as a group over claims that Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League violate antitrust law in their control of television and Internet broadcast rights.

Fans sued the leagues, individual clubs and regional TV sports networks, along with Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC, claiming the practice of dividing live game broadcasts into exclusive territories, protected by local blackouts, is anti-competitive.

“Every class member has suffered an injury, because every class member, as a consumer in the market for baseball or hockey broadcasting, has been deprived of an option—a la carte channels—that would have been available absent the territorial restraints,” U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York said in an opinion Thursday.
Thursday’s ruling focused on whether the fans can sue as a unified class. Scheindlin said they could but, in a victory for the leagues, barred them from seeking money damages as a group.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2015 at 05:02 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blackout restrictions, broadcasting, legal, media

 

 

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