Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

PGA Media Fight Goes to 11th Circuit: The lawsuit against the PGA Tour concerning the reporting of real-time golf scores will be argued in the 11th Circuit on January 14. Morris Communications, which owns several newspapers, argues that the Tour violated anti-trust laws when it forced media outlets to delay the reporting of real-time scores in order to gain access the PGA's press center. Morris argues this was done so that the Tour's own website would have exclusivity in the reporting of real-time event scores.

The district court judge threw out Morris' claims, concluding that the publisher "free-rides on the PGA Tour's efforts in compiling the scores." In its appeals briefs, Morris has argued that it does not free-ride on the Tour's core business of promoting golf tournaments and that the tour does not have any intellectual property right to golf scores.

This is the second golf-related case the 11th Circuit has heard in as many months. The other concerned the right of women's groups to protest outside of Augusta National during the Masters.