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MLB Antitrust Trial|Averted With Settlement

MANHATTAN (CN) - Reaching an 11th hour deal, Major League Baseball reportedly averted a trial from fans who complained that its deals with DirecTV and Comcast made them pay more to watch ball games.

In 2012, Oakland resident Fernanda Garber sued the league in one of a series of class-action lawsuits filed by baseball and hockey fans.

Viewers complained in both cases that the leagues conspired with distributors to black out games, prevent them from watching their favorite teams, or force them to pay more to watch "out-of-market" match-ups.

Under the current system, a Yankees fan in Brooklyn would have to purchase the YES Network to watch local games, whereas a Yankees fan in Iowa would have to purchase an out-of-market package that would include all baseball games.

Most out-of-market games are available only via national broadcasts, or through the out-of-market packages sold through Comcast and DirectTV.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin certified both cases as class actions in May 2015.

The case against the National Hockey League settled in September, but Major League Baseball had been heading for trial this morning until attorneys announced a settlement, the Associated Press reported today.

No information about the terms have hit the public docket, and attorneys for both of the parties have not yet responded to a request for comment.

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