NCAA v. Board of Regents of the Univ. of Oklahoma and Univ. of Georgia Athletic Ass'n
United States Supreme Court
468 U.S. 85 (1984)
After a study in the early 1950s indicated that television had an adverse effect on college football game attendance, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (defendant) adopted a plan that allowed only one game per week to be broadcast in each area and limited each member institution to two television appearances per season. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, ABC held the exclusive right to telecast college football games. In 1981, the NCAA entered into four-year agreements with ABC and CBS, allowing each network to broadcast 14 games per season. Further, the NCAA granted TBS the exclusive right to broadcast a limited number of games on the cable network. The agreements set strict limitations on the networks and barred any member institution from selling its own team’s broadcast rights. NCAA member institution, the University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia (collectively plaintiffs), were also members of the College Football Association (CFA). Those institutions were unhappy with the television restrictions and they, along with other CFA members, negotiated a different contract with NBC that provided more television appearances and more money. The NCAA threatened to impose sanctions against any member institution that did not follow its rules. As a result, the plaintiffs filed suit against the NCAA seeking an injunction barring the NCAA from interfering with the plaintiffs’ dealings with NBC. The district court held for the plaintiffs which was affirmed by the court of appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court then granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (White, J.)
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