Posted by Kenneth L. Shropshire @ February 09, 2012 04:54 PM EST
09 Feb · Thu 2012
Access to Sports Media Deal Details Denied
In the lawsuit led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon including Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, an important ruling was issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Judge Cousins. Cousins denied the requests for the discovery of documents that would have revealed the details in multiple media related deals. A primary theory of the case is that the NCAA forces athletes to relinquish their rights related to likeness and image and then the entity monetizes those likenesses and images to make billions. The documents requested included "all television contracts concerning Division I football and basketball, all licensing agreements with ‘outside’ licensing entities, revenue or royalty reports, all documents relating to the releases and consent forms that athletes must sign, all documents relating to copyright and licensing policies in collegiate sports, all documents relating to deals with videogame publisher Electronic Arts, and more.” Judge Cousins went further and “also rejected an attempt to procure from Fox and others documents that made reference to the ongoing litigation, discussions at trade association meetings, and documents concerning the amateur status of athletes…." That data would have been insightful for the plaintiffs, but even more so to the wide range of entities involved in current media rights negotiations. Further details can be found in The Hollywood Reporter.