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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Major League Baseball wants $5.8 million award enforced against Dominican media company

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Sep 30, 2019


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Major League Baseball Properties has asked a federal court to uphold an arbitration award of $5.8 million in its case against a Dominican Republic media company who allegedly failed to make scheduled payments for annual broadcast rights. 

According to the Sept. 18 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York filing, petitioner Major League Baseball Properties Inc. (MLB) filed a petition to confirm, recognize and enforce an International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitrator's ruling in its breach of contract claim against respondent Corporacione de Television y Microonda Rafa, S.A. (Telemicro).

"The parties – both represented by counsel – conducted extensive discovery and developed a detailed evidentiary record and submitted multiple rounds of briefing to the Tribunal," MLB stated in its petition. "And, at the conclusion of the proceedings, the arbitrator applied the law to the facts and made a well-reasoned final award in favor of MLB. The court should confirm the final award so that MLB can begin collection efforts in the United States."

The case stems from an agreement MLB and Telemicro entered into in 2016 allowing Telemicro exclusive rights to broadcast Spanish language MLB content in the Dominican Republic through 2018. Due to Telemicro's alleged failure to make payments for the broadcast rights per the agreement, MLB terminated the contract. 

According to the contract's dispute resolution provision, the petition states the case was required to go to arbitration, which eventually resulted in Telemicro being ordered to pay MLB the $5.8 million in May. The amount includes unpaid rights fees, pre-award interest, attorney and administrative fees and other sums.

MLB seeks to have the court confirm the final award and grant monetary relief. 

MLB is represented by Steven Kobre, Josef Klazen and Joshua Kushner of Kobre & Kim LLP in New York City and Miami.

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