By KATHLEEN JOHNSONAssociated PressAssociated PressThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a California law that would force broadcasters to pay fees for online streaming of some live sports.
The justices heard oral arguments in a case challenging the law, Proposition 19, which would require cable operators to carry live sports, including football, hockey and basketball.
Justice Department, which filed the suit on behalf of sports leagues, said the bill was designed to “protect consumers by preventing unauthorized access to their favorite sports content.”
It said the law could lead to lower prices for consumers, increase the number of sports channels available to consumers and make the internet more accessible to consumers.
The case is the latest to highlight the wide variety of ways online access can affect the way Americans consume sports, particularly when it comes to television, where sports are broadcast to a global audience.
The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a separate case that Proposition 19 was unconstitutional in October.
It said that because the law was not a direct government regulation of a cable company, it lacked the necessary public interest justification to be struck down.
The high court declined to hear the state Supreme, which had appealed from the lower court ruling.
The issue of online streaming has come up at times in court in recent years, particularly as cable companies seek to gain an edge over rivals.
The Associated Press