Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Since the Sports Broadcasting Act (SBA) was enacted in 1961, professional sports leagues have enjoyed an exemption to the antitrust laws that permits a league to sell package deals to broadcasting companies for the exclusive televising of league games. Recently, the necessity of the SBA has been challenged, both by legal commentators and in the courts. This Note examines the challenges to the SBA and the intent of Congress when it passed the SBA, suggesting that much of the criticism focused on the SBA is unfounded. The author concludes that in enacting the SBA Congress intended to keep professional sports leagues financially viable and remove inequities that existed between the different leagues, and that as an exemption to laws intended to benefit the public, the SBA is not necessarily for the public benefit.