Heyl Royster


Heyl Royster



Court Rules IHSA Can Charge Fees for Online Broadcast of High School Playoffs


Heyl Royster partner Matt Hefflefinger successfully represented the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) in a Sangamon County Circuit Court case that addressed the issue of whether high school sports associations can charge media outlets a fee for the rights to stream Illinois high school playoff football games on the internet.

The case arose out of a dispute that started in 2007, when the IHSA asked the Illinois Press Association (IPA) to stop selling pictures from Illinois high school playoff football games because the IHSA had an exclusive contract with a company for the rights to those pictures. An article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that covered the case stated, "When some newspapers balked at the agreement, the IHSA locked their photographers out of the 2007 state finals games, says a lawsuit filed by the IPA that year." In 2008, the two sides entered into an agreement and settled the suit.

In November of 2012, when the IHSA charged Northwest Herald newspaper a fee to broadcast a playoff game online, the IPA sued again, alleging breach of the 2008 agreement. Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Patrick W. Kelly's ruling in favor of IHSA provided that the agreement allowing IPA newspapers to photograph IHSA events did not extend to broadcasting live events over the internet.

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