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Tennessee AG: Schools can restrict media at sporting events

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by dixiehack, May 5, 2010.

  1. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member


    Nothing terribly earth-shattering, but I do see this brought up as a hypothetical from time to time here.

  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I don't think this will end at the AG's flooded door.
  3. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    So football games aren't public events, huh, Mr. Cooper? Wow, tell that to the 100,000 or so fans each week you just alienated.
  4. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    And to the television audience it's being broadcast to.
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Let's see. An event sponsored by a public institution that sells tickets to the general public and is held at a public facility which uses taxpayer money to maintain and is televised to the public is not a public event?

    And they have a right to put restrictions and conditions on media coverage? So, if they don't like what you right, they can tell you to change it?

    Um, no. Hopefully, the media will show some guts and tell the AG where to stick it.

    EDIT: I meant 'write', not 'right'.
  6. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Playing devil's advocate, almost all ticket-holders purchase their entry and agree to the conditions printed on the back along with other stadium regulations.

    It's not come one, come all and the gates are open to anyone.

    As for stadiums being taxpayer-funded, and I don't know of any specific examples, but if a foundation or donors or other non-taxpayer money payed for the stadium then it could be argued that it is not a public facility.

    This will not end well.
  7. cortez

    cortez Member

    Ah, yes, the American south
  8. writingump

    writingump Member

    With all due respect to the attorney general in the state where I live, if he thinks football games attended by 102,000 and watched by millions on TV aren't public events, he's an absolute moron.
  9. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    While that could have been worded better the AG is correct that a university has the right to protect its brand in terms of copyright infringement and set parameters on media access.

    Look at it this way, if they didn't have the right to set parameters on media access anybody could get into a press conference, locker room, press box, etc. I don't think that would be a good thing.
  10. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Try walking in the gates without a ticket and see if it's truly a public event.

    Try demanding a season ticket at fair-market value without making the requisite donations to the athletic association and see if it's truly a public event.

    Try recording the entire game on your cell phone -- or your home DVR -- and posting it to YouTube and see if it's truly a public event.
  11. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    According to federal court decisions, sports events are public events in terms of the information they generate. MLB lost its attempt to control its statistics for fantasy league purposes. But the media rights are a separate item, as they are contractually protected ("Any rebroadcast or reproduction of this event without the express written permission, etc. etc.") and have been forever.
    In other words, Tennessee can sue the pants off anyone who, say, broadcasts an unauthorized video of a game or practice on the Internet. But it can't restrict the content of any media it credentials, or even that it doesn't credential. If Joe Fan goes to the game and writes on his Facebook page that the quarterback sucks, Tennessee cannot yank his season ticket.
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