The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 21, 2012

Cable firm seeks $170,000 from bar for alleged illegal showing of UFC bout

NORTHUMBERLAND — A Northumberland bar has been sued by a cable distributor for, they contend, illegally broadcasting a pay-for-view Ultimate Fighting Championship bout. The distributor, Joe Hand Promotions, of Feasterville, is seeking $170,000 in damages.

According to documents obtained from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Williamsport Division, the lawyers for JHP allege that on Sept. 25, 2010, in violation of the Cable & Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, the bar intercepted the closed circuit broadcast of the fight and undercard bouts and then broadcast the fight.

The suit names Café Bellisimo Inc., which does business as Daddy McFattys (a/k/a Fatty McDaddy’s) on Queen Street.  Also named as defendants are owner Larry W. Tickle Jr. and Jason R. Letter, a former officer of the corporation.

Joe Hand Promotions, the document reads, had been “granted the exclusive nationwide commercial closed circuit rights to Ultimate Fighting Championship 119: Frank Mir v. Mirko Cro Cop,” which was broadcast nationwide on the 25th.

Joe Hand then sublicensed agreements with various commercial entities throughout North America, “including entities within Pennsylvania.”

Saying that the fight was “not to be intercepted ... displayed or exhibited by commercial entities unauthorized to do so ... the defendant unlawfully intercepted and exhibited the match.”

Larry W. Tickle, Jr., owner of McFatty’s, reached on Thursday, was unaware of the lawsuit.

“I haven’t seen the paperwork and I really don’t know what this is all about,” he said. “All I know is that we don’t play UFC fights because they are too expensive. I have customers who wish we would air UFC bouts, but we don’t.”

He declined further comments until he could see the lawsuit.

 McFatty’s, by the way, isn’t the only organization being sued by Joe Hand Productions — so far in 2012, there are a documented 1,801 lawsuits in 41 jurisdictions, in which JHP is the plaintiff.

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