Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Emmis Communications Agrees to Pay $300,000 To Settle "SmackFest" Contests Complaints

Recently, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a complaint against station Hot 97, owned by Emmis Communications, which has aired something called "Smackfest" since 2004. In "Smackfest" women slap each other in an attempt to win tickets and money. Spitzer's office charged that the contest violated New York's "combative sports laws" which are defined as "any professional match or exhibition other than boxing, sparring, wrestling or martial arts wherein the contestants deliver, or are not forbidden by the applicable rules thereof from delivering kicks, punches or blows of any kind to the body of an opponent or opponents." (See New York State Unconsolidated Laws, S 5-a. Combative sports. 1).

Hot 97 advertised and broadcast clips of the matches on the Internet. Emmis  Communications will pay $240,000 to settle the matter, plus an additional $60,000 to a non-profit group which targets violence against women. Read more in the New York Times here.

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