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J&J Sports Productions Lawsuits

TV Signal Piracy Publications

J&J Sports Productions Lawsuits

Charles Pascal Cohen

In 2015 alone over one thousand lawsuits alleging cable or television signal piracy (TV Signal Piracy) were filed against small businesses. Of those bringing TV Signal Piracy lawsuits, J&J Sports Productions Inc. (J&J Sports) was by far the most prolific, appearing as plaintiff in more than half of the suits filed. [1]

J&J Sports typically files suit in federal court claiming that it has the exclusive license to exhibit a particular sporting event and that its rights have been violated under federal [2] and state law. Defendants in TV Signal Piracy lawsuits are usually small businesses (bars, clubs, lounges, or restaurants etc.) and their respective owners and/or managers.

Among other things, J&J Sports usually alleges in its complaint that the defendants:

willfully intercepted and or received the interstate communication of the sporting event; assisted in the receipt of the interstate communication of the sporting event; transmitted, divulged and published a particular communication or sporting event, or assisted in transmitting, divulging and publishing a particular communication or sporting event, to patrons within their establishment; and misappropriated J & J Sports’ (or some other plaintiff's) licensed exhibition of the Event and infringed upon the plaintiffs’ exclusive rights while avoiding proper payment.

J&J Sports and similar plaintiffs often seek damages in excess of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) per lawsuit for alleged TV Signal Piracy. Such damages are more than one hundred times the amount that J & J Sports typically charges to grant a license to broadcast a high profile sporting event - approximately $2000 where the occupancy limit of the establishment is one hundred people or less.

Many small business owners become overwhelmed when served with a federal lawsuit demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some defendants may even have paid their cable service provider to broadcast the pay-per-view event for which the are being sued. The feeling of being overwhelmed and or confused often lead to inaction by many owners who are already operating their business at a loss. Even worse, many businesses simply close their doors.

SO WHAT CAN BUSINESSES FACING ALLEGATIONS OF TV SIGNAL PIRACY DO?

It is paramount that defendants obtain counsel and respond to the lawsuit. The situation will not resolve itself.

An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement which is far less than the amount demanded by J&J Sports. Defendants often owe substantially more money (tens of thousands of dollars) when a TV Signal Piracy lawsuit ends in default judgment. Also, since the individual owners are usually included in the suit, even if a business is closed or goes bankrupt, the owner may still be liable for the amount of the judgment. Further, significant monetary damages may be compounded by irreparable damage to defendants' name and reputation since lawsuits are public records.

Additionally, an attorney may be able to get the lawsuit dismissed against one or all of the defendants, depending on the particular facts and circumstances, as in where the Plaintiff has insufficient evidence to support the allegations. Of course, past results do not guarantee future results, and it is impossible to predict the outcome of any case.

Feel free to contact us with questions or comments regarding TV Signal Piracy lawsuits. Learn more about TV Signal Piracy defense here.


1. G & G Closed Circuit Events LLC. and Joe Hand Promotions Inc. made up a good portion of the remaining plaintiffs alleging cable or television piracy.

2. See: The Federal Communications Act (47 U.S.C. §§ 605 and 553).