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Chicago Professional Sports, Ltd. & WGN v. NBA (Bulls I)

961 F.2d 667 (1992)

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Chicago Professional Sports, Ltd. & WGN v. NBA (Bulls I)

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

961 F.2d 667 (1992)

Facts

The Chicago Bulls (the Bulls), owned by Chicago Professional Sports, Ltd. (plaintiff) and Chicago “superstation” WGN (plaintiff) brought suit under § 1 of the Sherman Act against the National Basketball Association (NBA) (defendant) after the NBA granted exclusive broadcasting rights to NBC and Turner Network Television (TNT) and then chose to restrict all “superstations” to broadcast no more than 20 games during a season and not to compete with TNT. The Bulls and WGN objected to the NBA’s limit on the output of broadcast games which they claim is a violation of the Sherman Act. The NBA countered that its broadcasting rules were lawful ancillary restraints and protected by the Sports Broadcasting Act. The district court held for the Bulls and WGN and enjoined the NBA from enforcing its 20-game limit. The NBA appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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