Longview sports bar sued for illegally showing closed circuit fight

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Aug 15, 2011

TYLER - A Longview sports bar is being sued for illegally broadcasting a 2009 UFC lightweight fight.

Joe Hand Promotions Inc., as broadcast licensee of the Aug. 8, 2009, "UFC 101: Declaration, Penn/Florian Event," filed suit against The Lodge Sports Bar & Billiards Social Club Inc. and Daniel N. Haislip on Aug. 4 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

According to the lawsuit, Joe Hand Promotions is the license company authorized to sub-license the closed-circuit telecast of the Aug. 8, 2009, BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian lightweight fight broadcast, including undercard or preliminary bouts, at closed-circuit locations such as bars, clubs and restaurants.

In Texas, the event could only be exhibited in a commercial establishment if contractually authorized by the plaintiff. Transmission of the event was electronically coded or scrambled.

The defendants are accused of willfully intercepting communication of the event and then transmitting it to the patrons within The Lodge Sports Bar. The defendants are accused of misappropriating the event with the express purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of $170,000 in statutory damages, plus costs, expenses and interest. The plaintiff is also asking the court to issue an injunction stopping the defendants from any further exhibition of unauthorized or unlicensed programs.

Joe Hand Promotions is represented by David M. Diaz and Andrew R. Korn of Korn, Bowdich & Diaz in Dallas.

Case No. 6:11-cv-00406

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