Sports fans can pursue US antitrust case over programming

NEW YORK Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:32am EST

NEW YORK Dec 5 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday allowed sports fans who subscribe to television or Internet services to pursue a lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and various networks of violating U.S. antitrust law in how they package games.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan said the subscribers have "adequately alleged harm" related to the programming, which they contend has reduced competition.

The defendants include Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, several teams in both sports, various regional sports networks, Comcast Corp and DirecTV.