As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, a federal judge is allowing an antitrust case against the consumer pricing of some TV sports packages: “A class-action lawsuit challenging the way Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have carved up TV rights became a much bigger deal Wednesday after a New York federal judge refused to dismiss the antitrust allegations. In May, several baseball fans filed a lawsuit against the leagues, as well as certain broadcast partners including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging the defendants were conspiring to make consumers pay a lot for ‘out of market’ games and blacking out ‘in market’ telecasts on MLB’s digital service. In reaction to the lawsuit, the leagues offered several reasons why the claims should fail. Among their arguments for dismissal was that the activities are the ‘very core of what professional sports league ventures do — sell their jointly created product’ to broadcasters. The state of the multibillion-dollar sports TV industry is widely regarded as a given, but U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin’s 53-page decision could rattle this belief to the core.”
Click the image to view Judge Scheindlin’s full preliminary ruling.