A federal judge ruled this week that a Shakopee bar owner could not be personally liable for allegedly showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout in his establishment.
The fight, between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Keith Jardine, took place back in 2009, but it took until this past Tuesday for the personal-liability issue to work its way through federal court.
Judge Richard H. Kyle ruled that the pay-per-view broadcast’s owner, Joe Hand Promotions, Inc., had not demonstrated that there was “no distinction” between the corporate entity of Kelley’s Bar and the entity’s owner.
Score one for the little guy. And it’s no small thing. As Bloomberg News explains, hundreds of such lawsuits are filed each year:
The companies send investigators into bars and restaurants the night of an event to gather photographic or video evidence that the establishment showed it without paying the fee.
The price for watching a pay-per-view boxing event at home might be $50, while businesses typically pay $1,500 to $3,000 or more depending on the size of the venue, said Joseph Gagliardi, president of J&J Sports Productions Inc., which promotes boxing matches.
Showing a boxing match, soccer game or mixed martial arts event without paying the commercial fee could potentially result in a bar or restaurant owner getting hit with a $260,000 bill.