Today a Federal Court Judge in Nevada dismissed Zuffa’s attempts to delay their discovery obligations in the multiple anti trust lawsuits facing the MMA industry leading UFC. Zuffa was hoping to stall their obligations until their motion to dismiss the lawsuit is heard but the Court refused to do so.
With Zuffa being forced to open their books, at least somewhat at this stage, the merits of the lawsuits will become clearer for the Plaintiffs in the upcoming weeks.
Today’s ruling, however, was not a one sided victory. The Court refused to outright delay Zuffa’s discovery obligations but at the same time the court ‘imposed restrictions‘ on the Plaintiffs broad discovery requests which will be in place at least until the Court has a chance to rule on Zuffa’s motion to dismiss the claims. Those hoping this lawsuit will bring Zuffa’s financials into the public eye will have to wait longer as the parties were ordered to “submit a proposed form of Confidentiality and Protective Order“.
As BloodyElbow’s John Nash previously reported, the Plaintiffs’ discovery requests are far reaching and include the following which Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen asked Plaintiffs’ counsel to ‘reconsider’ –
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 11
Documents and data in as granular form as it is maintained, including by transaction or receipt, sufficient to show the following:
a. total gate receipts from bouts, broken down by event;
b. total merchandizing receipts from bouts, broken down by event and itemized
by revenue source and line item;
c. total revenues from PPV broadcasts of bouts, broken down by event and
itemized by revenue source and line item;
d. total revenues from non-PPV broadcasts of bouts, broken down by event and
itemized by revenue source and line item;
e. total revenues derived from the sale of advertising during all broadcasts of bouts, whether PPV or non-PPV, during the Relevant Time Period, broken down by event, month and year and itemized by revenue source and line item;
f. total revenues derived in any way from the Promotional and Ancillary Rights relating to each MMA Fighter during the Relevant Time Period, broken down by Fighter, month and year and itemized by revenue source and line item;
g. total revenues derived in any way from the Merchandise Rights, including licensing revenues, relating to each MMA Fighter at any time during the Relevant Time Period, broken down by Fighter, month and year and itemized by revenue source and line item;
h. total annual revenues derived from agreements with sponsors, and to the extent known, from agreements between MMA Fighters and sponsors, itemized by revenue source and line item;
i. total revenues derived from UFC Licensed Merchandise;
j. total revenues derived in any way from UFC Promotional Materials;
k. total revenues broken down by event;
l. total revenues derived by You from any companies in the MMA Industry,
broken down by company and transaction or line item;
m. for each event or bout, the gross and net price paid by customers for
transactions by unit, subscription, and/or ticket for a single Pay-Per-View,
ticket to a live event, or UFC Fight Pass subscription.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 14
Documents sufficient to show Your actual costs, in as granular form as the information is maintained, but at all events on a monthly basis, including without limitation:
a.Your actual costs for presenting UFC bouts, in as granular form as possible, including without limitation venue costs, promotional costs, travel costs, advertising costs, compensation for Fighters, insurance costs, and all other costs incidental to presenting and promoting bouts;
b. Your actual costs involved in promoting the UFC as a brand, including advertisingexpenses; development of UFC trademarks and logos; and legal fees expended inprotecting the UFC’s purported intellectual property rights;
c. Your actual costs involved in developing and promoting merchandising of UFCLicensed Merchandise based on the Identities of the UFC Fighters; d. all other costs in an itemized fashion.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 22
All Documents referencing or relating to the drafting or editing of, justifications for, and the reasoning behind, the following provisions in Your contracts and agreements with any MMA Fighters, including, without limitation, Promotional and Ancillary Rights Agreements, Merchandise Rights Agreements, “side letters” and/or letter agreements:
a. any clauses providing for exclusivity or an exclusive relationship with the UFC of any kind and for any term or any clauses that restrict a Fighter from fighting for a rival Promoter or participate in any other fighting competition, including, without limitation, provisions that grant Zuffa the exclusive right to promote a Fighter’s bouts or restrict a Fighter’s ability to render services to or for another MMA Promoter or participate in any other fighting competition;
b. any clauses, in sum or substance, extending the term of an MMA Fighter’s promotional agreement based upon being recognized as “Champion” in any weight division;
c. any clauses granting, in sum or substance, the “Right of First Offer” or the “Right to Match” the financial terms and conditions of any offer made to any MMA Fighter to render services or fight in bouts promoted by another MMA Promoter;
d. any clauses granting Promotional and Ancillary Rights or Merchandise Rights to Zuffa;
e. any clauses requiring MMA Fighters to, in sum or substance, grant to the UFC the exclusive right to promote events, bouts, sponsors, or any other instance featuring an
f. any clauses granting to the UFC, in sum or substance, the right to extend the term;
g. any clauses granting, in sum or substance, the UFC discretion over sponsorship andendorsement approvals;
h. any clauses granting the UFC Merchandise Rights for MMA Fighters;
i. any clauses granting Zuffa the right to, in sum or substance, promote, appropriate, orutilize MMA Fighters’ Identities or likenesses.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 39
All Documents referring or relating to the UFC denying permission to, or otherwisediscouraging, UFC Fighters from contracting or working with particular sponsors, banning or discouraging particular sponsors from contracting with UFC Fighters, banning or discouraging UFC Fighters from contracting with sponsors, or the UFC discussing and/or publicly proclaiming that MMA Fighters who contract with specific sponsors will either be fined, docked compensation, banned from the UFC or punished by the UFC in some other way.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 41
All Documents discussing or referencing Your analysis or interpretation of the role of managers, agents or other representatives of MMA Fighters.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 44
All Documents concerning any actual or potential attempt by MMA Fighters to unionize or organize into another form of collective or collective bargaining unit.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 49
All Documents referencing or relating to any Social Media accounts operated by or on behalf of Zuffa or any of its executives, agents or Employees, including Documents sufficient to Identify who had responsibility for creating, maintaining, and adding or deleting content (including any private messaging) to or from such Social Media accounts.