Judge: Fans' challenge to all-or-nothing pro sports TV packages can proceed as class action

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A federal judge in New York says a lawsuit challenging all-or-nothing sports TV packages that require purchasing all professional hockey or baseball games can proceed as a class action.

Judge Shira Scheindlin (SHEER’-uh SHIND’-lin) ruled Thursday. She says all fans with some appetite for watching hockey and baseball broadcasts are affected by league policies requiring consumers to buy all league games rather than just the games of one team or a few teams. Her written decision follows a three-day hearing in March.

Lawyers for the leagues have said fans who brought lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League had failed to show common injuries warranting a class.

The judge ruled last summer that baseball’s antitrust exemption didn’t shield it from the litigation.