Anyone who subscribed to MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat.
What Could I Recover?
Subscribers may be eligible to receive a partial refund of the subscription fee.
Major League Baseball, Comcast, DIRECTV, and Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network
If you purchased a subscription to MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat, submit your details for a free evaluation by completing the form on the right.
A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging that Major League Baseball (“MLB”) violated federal antitrust laws by blacking out games on its MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, and MLB at Bat subscription services. Under the league’s blackout policy, fans who subscribe to MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat are blacked out from so-called “in-market” games, as well as those that are broadcast on national television.
If you have purchased a subscription to MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat, you may be eligible to receive a partial refund of the amount you paid for the service.
Why Are People Suing?
The class action alleges that Major League Baseball is abusing its monopoly power by enacting restrictive broadcasting policies, which prevent fans from watching their favorite teams on television, the internet, or on smartphones. The lawsuit alleges that Major League Baseball violates federal antitrust laws in a number of ways, including:
Blacking out all baseball games in a team’s home territory
Blacking out games that are broadcast on national television, such as ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and Fox’s Saturday Game of the Week
Requiring customers to purchase a subscription package for all out-of-market games, even if a customer is only interested in viewing a particular team
Charging customers the same subscription fee regardless of how many games are blacked out. (Fans who live in areas without a baseball team, but within the local broadcast territory of multiple teams, are blacked out of many games, yet are required to pay the same subscription fee as subscribers who are able to watch significantly more games.)
Failing to broadcast local games on the internet
MLB Blackout Class Action
On May 9, 2012, a group of four Extra Innings and MLB.tv subscribers filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court in New York. The lawsuit, Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, alleges that MLB abuses its monopoly power by requiring fans to pay for all out-of-market games when many, if not most, would prefer just to pay to watch their favorite team.
MLB, Comcast, DIRECTV, and Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (known as the “YES Network”) are named as defendants in the lawsuit, as well as the following teams:
Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants
On December 5, 2012, Judge Shira Scheindlin denied Major League Baseball’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit. Judge Scheindlin ruled that the class action may proceed because it sets forth a viable claim that MLB used its “monopoly power to restrict the broadcast of television programming in a manner that harms competition.”
The lawsuit against Major League Baseball has been consolidated with a similar lawsuit filed against the National Hockey League, Laumann v. National Hockey League.
Are You An MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat Subscriber?
Attorneys would like to hear from you if you are a subscriber to MLB Extra Innings, MLB.tv, or MLB at Bat.