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US: O’Bannon ruling leads to TV network suit

 |  October 8, 2014

A new lawsuit has been filed in the wake of the high-profile Ed O’Bannon trial, which addresses antitrust concerns of the NCAA’s failure to adequately compensate collegiate athletes for use of their names and likeness in NCAA products. According to reports, the newest suit to emerge from the O’Bannon case is the first to name television networks in the claims.

CBS, ESPN, NBC, ABC and Fox are all named as defendants in the new lawsuit filed by 10 former football and basketball college players. The suit also names conferences and licensing entities as defendants, say reports.

The plaintiffs claim that college athletes have not legally assigned their publicity rights to the defendants. Further, the athletes argue that the defendants colluded to utilize NCAA rules to their advantage to prevent college athletes from competing for their market value.

According to reports, US District Judge Claudia Wilken, who ruled on the O’Bannon case, determined that TV broadcasts define a market that uses athletes’ names and likeness. But the judge did not rule on whether release forms signed by the athletes for the broadcasts to use those names and likeness – contracts that the athletes in this case say are a “contract of adhesion” – are legal. Judge Wilken said there is no evidence those contracts violate antitrust law, say reports.

Full content: CBS Sports

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