Jenner & Block

Firm’s Victory for Sports Media Licensing Clients Affirmed by Sixth Circuit

Jenner & Block won another victory for clients IMG Worldwide, IMG College, and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, when the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a highly publicized class action lawsuit brought by former NCAA student athletes against collegiate conferences, television broadcasters, and other sports media licensing firms.  The former 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, Judge Kevin H. Sharp of the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed the putative class action, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to present any viable claims.  On August 17, 2016, the Sixth Circuit three-judge panel affirmed Judge Sharp’s “notably sound and thorough opinion,” writing, “To state the plaintiffs’ theory in this case is nearly to refute it.”  The firm team was led by Partners Richard L. Stone, Kenneth L. Doroshow and David R. Singer and included Partner Andrew J. Thomas and Associate Mark P. Gaber.  News of the affirmance of the dismissal was reported in Law360 and The Hollywood Reporter.