NHL, broadcasters settle lawsuit over TV blackouts

Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:52pm EDT
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NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - The National Hockey League has settled an antitrust lawsuit in which fans accused it of conspiring with broadcasters to illegally restrict their ability to watch their favorite teams on television.

Fans contended that the league, several teams, Comcast Corp , DirecTV and Madison Square Garden Co used blackouts to limit broadcasts of games outside teams' home markets.

They said this forced them to buy costly bundled game packages, rather they purchase games "a la carte" at lower prices, if they wanted to want their preferred teams.

According to papers filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the NHL agreed over the next five years to let fans buy single-team packages for at least 20 percent below the cost of bundled packages. Early subscribers would also get discounts.

The preliminary settlement requires court approval. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby)