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Le v. Zuffa, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 13, 2017

CUNG LE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ZUFFA, LLC, et al, Defendants.

          ORDER (MOT QUASH - ECF NO. 1) (MOT COMPEL - ECF NO. 26)

          PEGGY A. LEEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The court heard oral argument at a hearing conducted June 1, 2017, on Non-Party Bellator Sport Worldwide, LLC's (“Bellator”) Motion to Quash or Modify Subpoenas (ECF No. 1), and Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Documents Responsive to Plaintiffs' Subpoena (ECF No. 26), both of which were filed in related case 2:17-cv-00849-RFB-PAL which was initially filed in the Central District of California and transferred to this district.

         Bellator's Motion to Quash and Modify addresses subpoenas duces tecum served by plaintiffs in the lead/underlying case on September 15, 2015, and by Zuffa on September 24, 2015. Both subpoenas requested 15 broad categories of documents asserted to be relevant to litigation pending in this district. The parties and non-party Bellator engaged in extensive and protracted meet-and-confer sessions over a prolonged period of time and were able to resolve the majority of their disputes. However, Bellator's motion to quash or modify, and plaintiffs' motion to compel address five requests for production of documents concerning two broad categories of documents the parties were unable to resolve without court intervention. These two categories are document requests for: (1) Bellator fighter contract documents and related contract negotiation documents, plaintiffs Request for Production No. 4, and Zuffa's Request for Production No. 1; and (2) Bellator cost and revenue information, plaintiff's Request for Production No. 12, and Zuffa's Request for Production Nos. 7 and 12.

         At the conclusion of oral argument at the June 1st hearing the court directed counsel to file proposed orders outlining the scope of their requested relief from this court. Proposed orders (ECF Nos 423, 424 & 427) were submitted June 5, 2017.

         Bellator's proposed order does not address the time period for which documents in the two broad categories should be produced. Plaintiffs' proposed order seeks fighter contract documents and event level profit and loss data from Bellator for the time period covered by their subpoena, January 1, 2006 to the present. Zuffa's subpoena seeks documents for what it defines as the relevant time period-January 1, 2010 to the present. However, Zuffa's proposed order asks that the court compel compliance for responsive documents from January 1, 2009 to the present. Bellator claims, and the parties do not dispute, that Bellator was formed in 2008.

         With respect to fighter contract documents, Bellator proposes producing five anonymized exemplar fighter contracts for five categories of male MMA fighters, and one anonymized exemplar contract for five categories of female MMA fighters. Bellator represents that there are approximately 160 fighters currently on the Bellator roster, of whom less than 20% are female fighers. As a result, Bellator cannot produce more than one contract within each female fighter category without compromising the anonymity of the female fighters. Bellator proposes producing 30 fighter contracts-25 for male fighters, and 5 for female fighters. Bellator is proposing to produce anonymized exemplar contracts for its current roster of fighters, rather than anonymized exemplar contracts over the period requested by the parties in their respective subpoenas.

         Plaintiffs' proposed order states that the only document request in dispute between Bellator and plaintiffs is Request No. 12, which requests cost and revenue information. Plaintiffs' proposed order contains a sentence indicating the order “does not modify any agreement reached by Bellator with respect to compliance with the subpoena in any other respect.” Zuffa's proposed order proposes that Bellator be required to produce a randomized sample of contracts with its athletes to include at least 20% of athletes with whom Bellator had an agreement between January 1, 2009 and the present, including any side letters or agreements redacted of personally identifying information.

         With respect to Bellator cost and revenue information, Bellator proposes producing unaudited quarterly profit and loss statements through the quarter ending March 31, 2017. Bellator represents that for periods prior to December 31, 2011, it may not be able to produce P&L data in precisely the categories described in its proposed order because its operations changed when Viacom acquired Bellator in October 2011. Bellator's proposed order outlines the quarterly revenue information and expense information it proposes to disclose.

         Plaintiff's proposed order requests revenue and expense information to include quarterly financial statements from specific sources such as Pay Per View, television broadcasting agreements, advertising, sponsorship, gate receipts, merchandizing and other sources, and total fighter compensation. It also asks for a list of all events by date and location for every MMA event promoted or co-promoted by Bellator. For each event, it proposes that Bellator be compelled to produce profit and loss statements, or other financial statements showing all revenue from specific sources such as Pay Per View, television broadcasting agreements, advertising, sponsorship, gate receipts, merchandizing and “other sources”, and costs. Zuffa's proposed order requests quarterly profit and loss statements for Bellator covering the period from January 1, 2009, through the present, to include “the same line-item detail as is maintained by Bellator in the ordinary course of its business.” Zuffa's proposed order also requests event level P&L statements from January 1, 2009, through the present, for each event in which Bellator contends UFC's allegedly anticompetitive actions adversely impacted event revenues, viewership, sponsorship, venue availability, or profitability.

         Having carefully reviewed and considered the moving and responsive papers and the arguments of counsel, IT IS ORDERED that:

         1. Bellator's Motion to Quash Subpoenas (ECF No. 1) is DENIED.

         2. Bellator's Motion to Modify Subpoenas (ECF No. 1) is GRANTED as set forth below.

         3. Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Documents (ECF No. 26) is DENIED.

         4. With respect to the requests addressing fighter contract documents, the parties' requests for production ...


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