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Report: NHL, Molson Coors will appeal court ruling in favor of Labatt’s lawsuit

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Oscar winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. sips a beer during an NHL hockey game between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres during an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)


Labatt/Anheuser-Busch scored a big victory in court on Friday when the Ontario Superior Court upheld their lawsuit against the NHL for their $375+ million exclusivity deal with Molson Coors. That was a surprising ruling, but the league and rival brewer’s response isn’t expected to shock many. The NHL and Molson Coors are planning to appeal the court’s decision to uphold that lawsuit.

In a way, this court battle is almost Canada’s version of Budweiser vs. Coors, although the dispute obviously extends to the 23* American markets as well.

The NHL cannot really have too many nasty feelings toward Anheuser-Busch, either. Marketing points out that 22 American teams are sponsored by that company, although it is unclear if the ex-Atlanta Thrashers were one of those teams.

Click here for more details of the lawsuit from Friday’s post. We’ll keep our eyes on this legal situation because a huge chunk of the league’s money could be at stake.

* We have to keep in mind that there are seven Canadian teams now, not six. Kinda strange, eh?