News Column

Suit Targets Enterprising Brothers Over TV Fight Rights

Nov. 20, 2012

Emma Perez-Trevino

A civil lawsuit has been filed in federal court against a former city manager, his brother and their sports bar in Port Isabel, alleging that they illegally aired the broadcast of a pay-per-view fight.

Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. of Pennsylvania is seeking combined damages of up to $510,000 from architect Manuel Hinojosa, former city manager of San Benito and Port Isabel, and his brother Ricardo Hinojosa, an engineer from Mission, who own Doubleday Sports Bar in Port Isabel. Their corporation is also named in the lawsuit.

Hand charges that the brothers aired and profited from the February 2010 pay-per-view mixed martial arts bout between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez.

The Hinojosas, who are brothers of state Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, did not respond to requests for comment.

The promotions corporation filed the lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, claiming that it was granted the right to distribute the Nogueira vs. Velasquez broadcast scheduled for Feb. 20, 2010 via closed circuit television and via encrypted satellite signal.

According to the petition filed in federal court, the broadcast originated via satellite uplink, and was subsequently retransmitted to cable systems and satellite companies via satellite signal.

The corporation then entered into agreements with various entities in Texas, allowing them to publicly exhibit the broadcast to their patrons.

The lawsuit alleges that the two Hinojosa brothers named in the lawsuit or their agents, servants, workmen or employees unlawfully intercepted, received or de-scrambled the satellite signal and broadcast the bout at the sports bar, or that they used an illegal satellite receiver.

"There are multiple illegal methods of accessing the broadcast . . .," the petition states. The promotions corporation stated that it is unable to determine how the broadcast was accessed.

"However, it is logical to conclude that defendants used an illegal satellite receiver, misrepresented their business establishment as a residence, or removed an authorized residential receiver from one location to a different commercial location to intercept the plaintiff's broadcast," the petition states.

The two Hinojosa brothers have not yet responded to the lawsuit, but initial responses usually consist of a general denial of the allegations with demand for proof.


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas)

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