According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to intervene in a pending antitrust lawsuit against MLB, DirecTV, and Comcast brought by fans who felt that they were overcharged for out of market games. The District Court previously denied MLB’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that MLB’s long held antitrust exemption does not apply to television broadcast rights. After asking for and being denied permission to seek an interlocutory appeal, MLB sought a writ of mandamus from the Second Circuit. Despite recent rulings from the Ninth Circuit re-affirming the long held exemption, the Second Circuit found that the MLB had not met their burden of proving extraordinary circumstances. While the case is proceeding to trial, it is not yet clear if DirecTV’s MLB Extra Innings package violates antitrust law as the District Court did not make such a ruling.
Jason Fixelle is the Sports Highlight Editor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current second year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2016).