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GolTV, Inc. v. Fox Sports Latin Am., Ltd.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

January 26, 2018, Decided; January 26, 2018, Entered on Docket

CASE NO. 16-24431-CIV-ALTONAGA/Turnoff

Opinion

ORDER

THIS CAUSE came before the Court at a December 15, 2017 hearing [ECF No. 288] on Defendants, Fox Sports Latin America, Ltd. ("FSLA"); Pan American Sports Enterprises Company ("PASEC"); Fox International Channels (US), Inc. ("FIC"); Fox Networks Group, Inc. ("FNG"); Torneos y Competencias, S.A. ("Torneos"); T&T Sports Marketing Ltd. ("T&T"); Hernan Lopez; Carlos Martinez; James Ganley; Alejandro Burzaco; and Juan Angel Napout's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 255], filed October 9, 2017. Defendants seek dismissal of Plaintiffs, GolTV, Inc. and Global Sports Partners LLP's eleven-count Amended Complaint [ECF No. 78] on the ground it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Plaintiffs filed a Memorandum of Law in Opposition [ECF No. 279], to which Defendants filed a Reply [ECF No. 286]. The Court has carefully considered the parties' oral arguments, written submissions, the record, and applicable law. For the [*5]  reasons explained below, the Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

The Amended Complaint details how Defendants engaged in a bribery scheme between 2000 and 2015 to ensure Defendant, T&T, would secure exclusive television rights to Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol's ("Conmebol[']s") prestigious international club soccer tournaments: the Copa Libertadores de America, the Copa Sudamericana, and the Recopa Sudamericana (collectively, the "Club Tournaments"). (See Am. Compl. ¶ 3). The Amended Complaint relies on a 92-count Superseding Indictment [ECF Nos. 78-1 through 78-3] from a parallel criminal case in the Eastern District of New York, in which 27 individual defendants have been charged with crimes including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering (see Am. Compl. ¶ 2 (citing United States v. Webb, No. 15-cr-0252 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 25, 2015))); and Torneos's Deferred Prosecution Agreement [ECF No. 78-4] acknowledging criminal culpability for wire fraud conspiracy to pay bribes and kickbacks to Conmebol officials in exchange for their support in awarding Club Tournament television rights to T&T (see Am. Compl. ¶ 6 (citing United States v. Torneos [*6]  y Competencias S.A., No. 16-00634-PKC, ECF Nos. 4-1 & 4-2 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2016))). Plaintiffs allege Defendants' scheme to obtain exclusive television rights for the Club Tournaments injured GolTV and Global Sports, who otherwise would have won bids for Club Tournament television rights. (See generally Am. Compl.).

A. Parties and Relevant Entities

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29836 *; 2018-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P80,265

GOLTV, INC. and GLOBAL SPORTS PARTNERS LLP, Plaintiffs, v. FOX SPORTS LATIN AMERICA, LTD., et al., Defendants.

Prior History: GolTV, Inc. v. Fox Sports Latin Am. Ltd., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 219094 (S.D. Fla., May 25, 2017)

CORE TERMS

rights, television, Tournament, Plaintiffs', Sports, Defendants', alteration, bribery, conspiracy, bribes, bids, consumers, allegations, wire fraud, Sherman Act, quotation, marks, proximate cause, soccer, predicate act, domestic, Counts, tortious interference, antitrust claim, parties, offers, commercial bribery, damages, business relationship, money laundering