Jenner & Block

Firm Wins Victory for Sports Media Licensing Clients when Judge Dismisses Student Athlete Class Action Complaint

Jenner & Block won a victory for clients IMG Worldwide, IMG College, and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in a highly publicized class action by NCAA student athletes against collegiate conferences, television broadcasters, and other sports media licensing firms.  The student athletes alleged that the defendants misappropriated their publicity rights and violated federal antitrust laws by supposedly refusing to compensate the students for their appearances in game broadcasts, footage, and advertisements for the games.  On June 4, 2015, US District Judge Kevin H. Sharp dismissed the putative class action, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to present any viable claims. In his 33-page ruling, Judge Sharp  wrote that “ the court’s sole task is to determine whether present plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts or stated a viable claim that they are entitled to monetary compensation because they play in televised games.  The court finds that plaintiffs have not done so under any of the theories that they set forth.”   The firm team includes Partners Richard L. Stone, David R. Singer, Kenneth L. Doroshow and Andrew J. Thomas and Associate Mark P. Gaber.  News of the dismissal was reported in Law360, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.