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Broadcast Rights and Media Issues

Learn about broadcast rights and whether professional sports broadcasts are copyrightable under the Copyright Act.


Unlike material goods, the product of sport is produced and consumed simultaneously. However, sports venues have a limited capacity, so only a small percentage of a team’s fans can watch a game in person. As a result of the unique nature of sports, the greatest value in sports comes from the right to broadcast information about the sporting event while the event is occurring.

I. History of Sports Broadcast Rights

In the 1930s, the Pittsburgh Pirates entered into a contract that gave General...