The Richmond Register

September 23, 2013

Manhattan Club sued by pay-per-view sports promoter

Calif.-based firm claims business didn’t pay to show boxing match

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — A pay-per-view sports promotion company has sued a Richmond strip club in federal court, alleging the Manhattan Club aired a boxing prizefight without paying commercial licensing fees.

J&J Sports Productions, a California-based company, is known for filing hundreds of similar lawsuits against bars and clubs across the United States, according to several nationwide news sources. Through the use of undercover “auditors,” the company is able to pinpoint businesses that show cable pay-per-view vents without paying commercial fees.

J&J Sports usually files federal lawsuits seeking monetary penalties for the alleged violations of The Cable & Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.

According to the federal complaint filed Sept. 13, the Manhattan Club at 221 E. Water St. showed the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz fight to its customers Sept. 17, 2011.

The club is owned by Sarah J. Kelchner (aka. Sarah Shepler), according to the court documents and state business filings.

J&J Sports states that because it spent substantial money marketing, advertising, administering and transmitting the program, it suffered “severe economic distress and great financial loss” when the Manhattan Club did not pay the commercial licensing fee.

J&J Sports is seeking a total of $150,000 in statutory damages from the Manhattan Club, plus attorneys’ fees.

On the same day the suit was filed against the Manhattan Club, the company also filed similar complaints against the owners of establishments in Lexington, Mt. Sterling, Elizabethtown and Radcliff.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.