UFC sues Syracuse college bar over streaming UFC 283

The UFC is taking legal action against a popular bar on Marshall Street in Syracuse, accusing it of unauthorized broadcasting of its card. In a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed in federal court, the mixed martial arts promotion company, UFC, is seeking substantial damages from Hungry Chuck’s for allegedly streaming the UFC 283 Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira card without paying the required commercial licensing fee.

Hungry Chuck’s, which returned to a new location after a five-year hiatus, has been an iconic establishment in the Syracuse University area for over 50 years. However, the bar is now facing legal consequences for advertising the pay-per-view card on its Instagram page in January, charging a $5 cover fee without obtaining the necessary broadcasting rights.

The UFC is seeking damages of $110,000 for each defendant listed in the lawsuit, with both Hungry Chuck’s and owner Steve Theobald being named separately as defendants. Despite the legal action, Theobald has not yet provided any comments on the matter.

This is not the first time the UFC has pursued copyright lawsuits against New York businesses. In recent court filings, the company has successfully won similar cases, securing a $15,000 judgement against a bar and grill in Queens, $2,000 against a sports bar in Queens, and reaching an undisclosed settlement with a restaurant in Westchester County.

UFC famously has a problem curtailing online streams. UFC president Dana White declared in January 2021 that the organization would pursue those who distribute UFC events unauthorized.

White emphasized the consequences for people caught streaming illegally, mentioning prosecutions and jail time. He stated that stealing pay-per-views is detrimental to both the organization and the athletes who get a share of the revenue.

White’s concern about pay-per-views has changed due to the ESPN deal, which removed variability and provided a set number of subscribers. However ESPN is on the market for sale and their deal with the UFC is up for renegotiation so it’s interesting to see how that affects UFC’s desire to be litigious.


The promotion company is determined to protect its intellectual property and ensure that businesses respect the licensing and copyright agreements when broadcasting their cards. Legal actions like these serve as a stern warning to other establishments that unauthorized streaming of UFC events can lead to significant financial repercussions.