Texas City bar sued for showing closed-circuit fight without license

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 8, 2011, 5:15pm

GALVESTON - J&J Sports Productions Inc. claims a Texas City bar illegally aired a boxing match three years ago, recent court documents say.

According to a lawsuit filed July 25 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Pal's Bar broadcast "The Battle: Antonio Margarito vs. Miguel Cotto" on July 26, 2008, without properly gaining access from the plaintiff.

Pal's owner, Phyllis Ann Waldrop, is also named a defendant in the case.

J&J is the license company authorized to sub-license the fight including preliminary bouts at closed-circuit locations such as theaters, arenas, bars, clubs, lounges and restaurants throughout Texas.

The suit states the fight was not intended to be shown to the general public, adding a closed-circuit broadcast could only be exhibited in a commercial establishment if the venue was contractually authorized to do so by the complainant.

J&J marketed and distributed the closed-circuit rights tied to the fight and granted interested establishments the right to broadcast the event for a fee.

The original petition further explains that the program was "scrambled" so that electronic decoding equipment was needed for a clear broadcast.

Places that purchased the rights to air the program were given electronic decoding capability, but Pal's Bar "willfully intercepted" the interstate communication of the event, the suit alleges.

The plaintiff asserts the respondent circumvented the broadcast "willfully and with the express purpose and intent to secure a commercial advantage and private financial gain."

Consequently, J&J seeks $170,000 in damages.

It is represented by Korn, Bowdich & Diaz LLP

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.

Case No. 3:11-cv-354

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