Four bars accused of illegally showing UFC fights

By Annie Cosby | Dec 11, 2014

CLARKSBURG – A Pennsylvania company is suing over claims several bars illegally intercepted and exhibited UFC fight broadcasts.

Joe Hand Promotions Inc. is suing four different defendants, with cases filed Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 in the Northern District Court of West Virginia against Gary L. Guidi and Clarabelle, doing business as Bugsy's Beer Garden, and in the Southern District Court of West Virginia against James Harrison and Club Infinity, doing business as Club Infinity; Deborah Sergeon Nichols and Miguel Sports Grill Inc., doing business as Miguel Sports Grill; and Connie D. Spencer and The Hideaway Lounge Inc., doing business as Pikeview Lounge and Sports Bar.

According to the complaint, Joe Hand Promotions was granted, by contract, the right to distribute the UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann broadcast on Feb. 22 via closed circuit television and encrypted satellite signal, and entered into agreements with various entities in West Virginia, allowing them to publicly exhibit the broadcast to their patrons. The complaint states that employees of Club Infinity on Mingo Highway in Man illegally intercepted, received or de-scrambled the satellite signal and exhibited to their patrons.

The lawsuits state similarly unlawful interceptions were performed by Bugsy's Beer Garden on Point Marion Road in Morgantown for the Jan. 14, 2012, broadcast of UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes; and Miguel Sports Grill Inc. on Johnson Square Plaza in Gauley Bridge; and Pikeview Lounge and Sports Bar on Pikeview Drive in Beckley for the March 15 broadcast of UFC 171: Lawlor vs. Hendricks. The defendants are accused of violating the Federal Communications Act and Title 47 USC 605 and 553.

Joe Hand Promotions seeks up up to $110,000 per defendant on the first cause of action, and $60,000 for the second, including interest, costs and attorney fees.

The plaintiff is represented by attorneys Edmund L. Wagoner and David E. Goddard of Goddard & Wagoner in Clarksburg.

District Court case numbers: 2:14-CV-28688; 1:14-CV-00200-IMK; 2:14-CV-28727; 5:14-CV-28719

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