Fox sporting loss in Turner South case

New web allowed to air Hawks, Braves, Thrashers games

NEW YORK — Fox Sports Net South lost its first legal battle to keep Turner Broadcasting System’s new web Turner South from televising pro sports games, but Fox Sports will continue its fight against Turner.

The Fox regional sports cabler filed an appeal Thursday to the Georgia state Supreme Court to preclude Turner South, which launches Oct. 1, from carrying Atlanta Braves baseball, Atlanta Hawks basketball and Atlanta Thrashers hockey games.

Two weeks ago, a Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled that Turner South was within its contractual rights to televise the sports contests.

Fox Sports had argued that Turner and parent company Time Warner had signed a noncompete clause with Fox Sports Net South that prohibits any Turner channel from airing pro sports games. In televising 30-35 Braves, 15 Hawks and 48 Thrashers games, Fox Sports said Turner is creating a new regional sports network that will compete directly with Fox Sports Net South.

The Superior Court judge ruled that Turner South is first and foremost an entertainment web, not a regional sports network.

In appealing the judge’s decision, Fox said it “intends to vigorously pursue all legal and equitable remedies available.”