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Three Lowcountry bars sued over claims of pirating boxing pay-per-views

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Tyson Fury punches Deontay Wilder during their Heavyweight bout for Wilder during a heavyweight title match. (FILE | Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

A sports promoter in Pennsylvania has sued five South Carolina bars, including three in the Lowcountry, amid claims the night clubs illegally broadcasted pay-per-view boxing matches inside their establishments.

Joe Hand Promotions, a Philadelphia-based sports promotion company, filed the lawsuits June 18 in federal courts across South Carolina. Three bars from the Charleston region were named in separate lawsuits, along with one each from Orangeburg and Myrtle Beach.

Joe Hand Promotions claims it had sole rights to distribute and license the television feeds of the boxing matches to commercial venues such as bars and restaurants.

However, the promoter says the five South Carolina bars in question did not pay the required permission fees or get the necessary commercial licenses before showing the fights to their patrons, thus committing cable & satellite piracy.

The lawsuits claim as follows:

  • On December 1, 2018, Grown Folks Lounge in Cross, owned by Paul Way, illegally showed the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury match "without authorization, license, or permission to do so."
  • On December 1, 2018, 20 Grand Bar & Lounge in Summerville, owned by Ronald and Hubert Dailey, illegally showed the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury match "without authorization, license, or permission to do so."
  • On January 19, 2019, the Blue Lizard Bar & Grill in Ladson, owned by Kaneshia N. Allen, illegally showed the Adrien Broner vs. Manny Pacquiao match "without authorization, license, or permission to do so."
  • On May 18, 2019, Touch Bistro & Lounge (aka, "Cloud 9") in Orangeburg illegally showed the Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale match "without authorization, license, or permission to do so." Owner Aaron P. Gillespie also is named in the suit.
  • On November 23, 2019, Last Call Tapas Bar in Myrtle Beach, owned by Nicole Pickens, illegally showed the Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz II match "without authorization, license, or permission to do so."

In each case, Joe Hand Promotions is asking the court to award $110,000 in statutory damages as permitted under federal piracy laws, as well as interest, court costs and attorneys’ fees.