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NFL v. McBee & Bruno’s, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
792 F.2d 726 (1986)


Facts

The National Football League (NFL) (plaintiff) had contracts with various television networks to broadcast games. In those contracts, a provision prohibited a game from being televised within a 75-mile radius of the home team’s playing field if the game had not completely sold out within 72 hours of game time. The purpose behind the “blacked out” games was to boost ticket sales and create a more exciting television broadcast with a full stadium. In 1984, several restaurants, bars, and individuals picked up the game signal of a St. Louis Cardinals game on satellite dishes or high television antennas and then displayed the telecast to customers or friends. The NFL brought suit against the establishments, including McBee & Bruno’s, Inc. (defendant), (collectively Defendants) seeking injunctive relief preventing the broadcasts. The district court granted the NFL an injunction and Defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Arnold, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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