Sport associations applaud federal Internet ruling

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- High school athletic associations nationwide are applauding a federal appeals court ruling upholding Wisconsin's right to sell exclusive rights to live stream games. But newspaper groups fear the ruling could open the door to more restrictions.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sued in 2008 after a newspaper streamed a football game. The WIAA maintained it had an exclusive live-stream contract with another producer.

A federal judge sided with the WIAA last year. On Wednesday the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, saying the First Amendment doesn't entitle media outlets to claim free broadcasting rights.

At least a dozen associations have similar exclusive streaming deals. They say it brings in money to keep state championship tournaments going. But newspapers worry the ruling could lead to more reporting restrictions.