Bars illegally unscrambled De La Hoya fight, lawsuits claim

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | May 6, 2010

SHERMAN-The license holder of the closed-circuit telecast of a championship fight is accusing a Fairview sports bar and a Plano Mexican restaurant of illegally unscrambling the fight and then broadcasting it to patrons.

Claiming violations of the Communications Act of 1934, J&J Sports Productions filed suit against Noris Corp., AK's Sports Bar & Grill and owner and Ismail Krasniqi for illegally showing the May 5, 2007, Oscar De La Hoya fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the WBC light middleweight championship.

In a separate suit, the same allegations are made against El Pescador Mexican Seafood, Trini C. Concha and Ma Liss Delgado.

The lawsuits were filed April 29 in federal court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman division.

According to the lawsuit, the closed-circuit broadcast of the event could be distributed to a commercial establishment, if the establishment was contractually authorized.

J&J Sports Productions said that neither AK's Sports Bar nor El Pescador had contracts to broadcast the event. The plaintiffs argue that the establishments "willfully intercepted and/or received" or "assisted in the receipt of the interstate communication of the Event" and then transmitted the fight for their patrons.

"Defendants misappropriated Plaintiff's licensed exhibition of the Event and infringed upon Plaintiff's exclusive rights while avoiding proper payment to Plaintiff," the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff is seeking more than $170,000 in statutory damages, plus interest, attorney's fees and court costs.

Dallas attorneys Andrew R. Korn and David M. Diaz of Korn, Bowdich & Diaz are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the litigation.

Case No. 4:10cv00219 (J&J Sports Productions v El Pescador)
Case No. 4:10cv00220 (J&J Sports Productions v AK's Sports Bar & Grill)

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