UFC Files Civil Action Lawsuit on O2 Hookah & Cafe
Zuffa and the UFC appear to be heavily cracking down on piracy issues surrounding the promotion’s events for purchase.
Court documents reveal that the UFC has a lawsuit against O2 Hookah & Cafe which is a lounge in Houston, Texas. The lawsuit was filed on October 4th, 2019 in reference to an illegal showing of UFC 229. Featuring UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomevdov vs. Conor McGregor, UFC 229 is one of the most successful cards that the promotion has ever had.
The O2 Hookah Cafe is located in Houston, TX. It had a capacity of 51 to 100 people on the day of the card. The UFC says that the cafe did not pay the commercial licensing fee to obtain the broadcast. However, the cafe publically advertised that they would be showing the card in their establishment via social media.
Details of the UFC Piracy Case
The UFC believes that the O2 Hookah Cafe unlawfully intercepted, received and/or de-scrambled their satellite signal for commercial advantage. Also, they believe the cafe obtained private financial gain without authorization. Furthermore, court documents allude to the idea that the cafe received a financial benefit from the viewing. Meaning, it’s quite possible that the cafe incorporated a cover charge to show the event, even though they didn’t pay for it themselves.
Not only is the UFC filing the lawsuit against the cafe, but they are also filing against each individual manager of the establishment. They believe that individually, the three managers listed willfully and illegally
intercepted the broadcast when it was distributed and shown by cable television systems.
The UFC was unable to determine the exact way that the hookah cafe and its members obtained the broadcast. However, they did obtain disclosed inside information revealing that the broadcast was obtained illegally.
As a result of the violation, the UFC is entitled to damages, in an amount at the discretion of the court. The damages collected could be of up to the maximum amount of $60,000.00, Plus, the recovery of full costs, interest and reasonable
UFC 229 set the record for the biggest MMA pay-per-view event, with 2.4 million buys in the United States of America. That staggering number makes the Pay Per View the third most successful of all time. That includes UFC, WWE, and boxing numbers. 229 also generated a live gate revenue of $17.2 million. Even the preliminary bouts drew in an average of 1,308,000 viewers.
Is Legal Action Justified?
Some people might consider the UFC as being petty for going after a small cafe. However, legally they have every right to do so.
Zuffa and the UFC seem to heavily be cracking down on piracy issues. Whether it’s businesses illegally streaming for profit, or massive internet forums sharing streams, the UFC is tackling its issues one step at a time.
Business owners, beware.
Retrieving the court documents came via access to public information on the internet. Additionally, The 12 long page document can be found here.
As more information about the case is revealed, we’ll be here to update everything as the story unfolds.
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The Scrap’s Rory Robinson is a full-time editor at a high profile newspaper publication. With a Bachelor’s in Journalism and Public Relations from Syracuse University, Rory loves to watch and cover combat sports and pro wrestling, as well as basketball, soccer, pop culture, and more. Make sure to follow Rory on Twitter (@Rawrewreckz) for commentary and interaction.