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Thread: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

  1. #1
    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Wondering if a viable class-action lawsuit could be waged against MLB or DirecTV for this new programming injustice...
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    No.

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    How many lawyers on this board?

    I think there's a link to this site from the Cincinnati Bar Association.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    almost certainly no. baseball has the "antitrust exemption", so virtually impossible to sue mlb for anticompetitive behavior.

    direct tv has been down this path with the nfl.

    only possible argument that i see would be if mlb had somehow led its consumers to believe that it would make extra innings available on cable, and consumers could prove that they somehow relied on that represenation to their detriment. not sure how you could show that, though.

    best hope to resolve this is pressure from congress; mlb does not want to lose that antitrust exemption, i promise you that.

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    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    But is MLB causing the restriction, or DirecTV, which has no antitrust exemption? Can MLB just share their immunity with any company it associates with?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    MLB is. DirecTV is simply a consumer.

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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    But can DirecTV be sued for imposing the restriction? Especially since consumers cannot obtain a comparable product from another vendor? THEY are trying to monopolize the broadcasts of MLB, not MLB. I think it is an interesting legal question--can MLB effectively license out it's monopoly creating power to other vendors who are not protected under the anti-trust exemption?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    wheelhouse, i don't know the details at all; all I know is the DirecTV has been down this road with the NFL - which DOESN'T have an antitrust exemption - and is still the exclusive provider of Direct Ticket.

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    wheelhouse, i don't know the details at all; all I know is the DirecTV has been down this road with the NFL - which DOESN'T have an antitrust exemption - and is still the exclusive provider of Direct Ticket.
    But the NFL never offered the "package" though anyone other than DirectTV and doesn't have an anti-trust exemption to protect.

    While I don't think that we as fans will be able to do anything on a legal level I do believe that this action by MLB does endanger their case for the exemption on the basis of MLb being the "national pastime" and I also believe that there are members of congress who will use this against MLB, even if it is just to get a name for themselves.
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    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    But the NFL never offered the "package" though anyone other than DirectTV and doesn't have an anti-trust exemption to protect.

    While I don't think that we as fans will be able to do anything on a legal level I do believe that this action by MLB does endanger their case for the exemption on the basis of MLb being the "national pastime" and I also believe that there are members of congress who will use this against MLB, even if it is just to get a name for themselves.
    Good. I just hope some way can be found to hurt both MLB and DirecTV in the pocket. I have to give him this--Selig is a gutsy poker player. Hating MLB is not a long distance from hating the teams individually, and fans almost universally LOATHE MLB as an organization. When does that distaste start hitting the teams themselves?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    To answer your first question wheelhouse - there are several lawyers and several law students who are active Redszone members - but I'll let them pipe up if they so choose.

  13. #12
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    I'm still a law student, but know antitrust law and sports law pretty well.

    People are correct. The answer is "no." And it's not just MLB, but all of the Big Four sports that have a limited antitrust exemption for the purpose of broadcasting.

    See: The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961

    While I think MLB is probably short-sighted here, they have every right to do this under current laws. I find it interesting that the NFL gets a pass for doing the same thing for out-of-market games.

    There's an article on the internet somewhere speculating that MLB Advanced Media is thinking about going public. If so, they can promise potential investors that all of the MLB fanatics who can't get direct TV will be forced to go through them to get out-of-market games.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I'm still a law student, but know antitrust law and sports law pretty well.

    People are correct. The answer is "no." And it's not just MLB, but all of the Big Four sports that have a limited antitrust exemption for the purpose of broadcasting.

    See: The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961

    While I think MLB is probably short-sighted here, they have every right to do this under current laws. I find it interesting that the NFL gets a pass for doing the same thing for out-of-market games.

    There's an article on the internet somewhere speculating that MLB Advanced Media is thinking about going public. If so, they can promise potential investors that all of the MLB fanatics who can't get direct TV will be forced to go through them to get out-of-market games.
    Pretty much what he said.

    One thing to tack onto this post is that Congressmen frequently dangle the antitrust exemption over various sports' heads when the Congressmen want to pander to their constituents or get media attention for whatever reason. A lot of smoke was blown during the steroid frenzy about taking away MLB's antitrust exemption if they did not comply with various Congressional demands.

    The place you're going to see the huge fights are going to be involving other cable and satellite companies against DirecTV and MLB. The NFL is trying to get ESPN-like rates (each cable TV station gets a percentage depending on their popularity) for the NFL Network to show on packages like Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, and so on. These television providers are really angry, though, because the NFL decided to give DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket and because these providers are unwilling to pay those rates. These providers are only too aware of the packages DirecTV gets and will be the ones to take the NFL and MLB to task, be it in court or at the negotiating table.

  15. #14
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I'm still a law student, but know antitrust law and sports law pretty well.

    People are correct. The answer is "no." And it's not just MLB, but all of the Big Four sports that have a limited antitrust exemption for the purpose of broadcasting.

    See: The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961

    While I think MLB is probably short-sighted here, they have every right to do this under current laws. I find it interesting that the NFL gets a pass for doing the same thing for out-of-market games.

    There's an article on the internet somewhere speculating that MLB Advanced Media is thinking about going public. If so, they can promise potential investors that all of the MLB fanatics who can't get direct TV will be forced to go through them to get out-of-market games.
    That's interesting Chili. Thanks for sharing. I still think if they go through with this there will be a lot of noise from congress about it. either way, there's not a chance in hell I'm going to subscribe to Direct TV to get the extra innings package. They can go screw themselves as far as I'm concerned.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  16. #15
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Any lawyers on the board (MLB/Reds related)?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I'm still a law student, but know antitrust law and sports law pretty well.

    People are correct. The answer is "no." And it's not just MLB, but all of the Big Four sports that have a limited antitrust exemption for the purpose of broadcasting.

    See: The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961

    While I think MLB is probably short-sighted here, they have every right to do this under current laws. I find it interesting that the NFL gets a pass for doing the same thing for out-of-market games.

    There's an article on the internet somewhere speculating that MLB Advanced Media is thinking about going public. If so, they can promise potential investors that all of the MLB fanatics who can't get direct TV will be forced to go through them to get out-of-market games.
    To clarify jmc, I'm a lawyer, but since reading and posting on redszone is a hella non-billable event, went for the brevity route with my initial response.

    Well done cincy chili, that sums it up very nicely.


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