Yesterday attorneys for the UFC filed in the Northern California District Court a request to stay all discovery until after it issues a decision on Zuffa’s motions to dismiss and transfer the class action antitrust suit that was brought against them by Cung Le, Nate Quarry, Jon Fitch, and eight other former UFC fighters.
According to the request to stay, on Sunday, April 26, the Plaintiffs served Zuffa with 59 separate requests for production of documents “seeking production of an enormously wide-ranging and detailed volume of information and electronic and hard copy documents relating to virtually every aspect of Zuffa’s business. The bulk of these requests seek documents going back 15 years; however, at least one request goes back as far as 1993.”
Zuffa also claims that “Plaintiffs seek 15 years of Zuffa’s financial statements; balance sheets; regulatory filings; gate and merchandizing receipts from bouts, broken down by event, ‘in as granular form as it is maintained’; revenues from broadcasts of bouts, broken down by event; advertising revenues, broken down by event; and revenues related to all MMA fighters, broken down by fighter, month and year, and itemized by revenue source and line item.”
The Plaintiffs also apparently served at least one other third-party a subpoena that Zuffa’s attorneys complain was done without providing notice to Zuffa in violation of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
In their request to stay Zuffa cites the case of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, arguing that the pending motion to dismiss and transfer should be resolved first before proceeding in what they claim might be a burdensome and expensive discovery. According to the request, if the case is dismissed discovery will be moot and if it is not then discovery can commence immediately.
If the Motion to Dismiss is not transferred to Nevada, the hearing is scheduled for July 23, 2015.
Some examples of the documents the Plaintiffs are requesting can be seen below:
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 advertising expenses; development of UFC trademarks and logos; and legal fees expended in protecting the UFC’s purported intellectual property rights;
c. Your actual costs involved in developing and promoting merchandising of UFC Licensed 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 and endorsement 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, or utilize MMA Fighters’ Identities or likenesses.
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 39
All Documents referring or relating to the UFC denying permission to, or otherwise discouraging, 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.
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