This last Monday, November 16, 2015, Silver King Entertainment, LLC, locally known as the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS) dropped two counts of its complaint against the Save the Tarpon organization and some of its individual directors. This decision was due to many considerations, but first and foremost let us be clear the case is not over, as the PTTS is appealing the Courts decision to grant a summary judgment on the PTTS defamation claim against the Save the Tarpon organization and its directors. The Court without record evidence ruled that Save the Tarpon and its directors were media defendants because their statements had been published in news outlets. We believe decision was clearly erroneous as Save the Tarpon and its directors are competing fishermen, who are not neutral media members, and who have a vested interest in damaging the PTTS, along with its sponsors and participants. Further, the Court did not rule that Save the Tarpons statements were not defamatory, but only that Save the Tarpon and its directors should have been given the chance to retract the alleged defamatory statements prior to filing a lawsuit.
On the morning of November 16, 2015, the Court heard two different Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation (SLAPP) motions filed by Save the Tarpon attempting to show the PTTS lawsuit had no merit, and the Court denied both motions. Silver King Entertainment intends to pursue prevailing party attorneys fees for both successfully defended SLAPP motions. After this hearing, the PTTS decided that it did not want to put its sponsors and participants through a trial on two counts that would have required testimony from its sponsors and participants, when the main defamation claims dismissal was being appealed. The PTTS did not want to subject its sponsors and participants to any more inconvenience due to actions by Save the Tarpon and its leadership.
The case is not over, and the PTTS feels strongly in its defamation claim winning on appeal. The PTTS may reconsider going forward, if after discussions with its participants and sponsors, it is decided it is better to take away the Save the Tarpons leaderships vehicle to enrich themselves at the continued detriment to civil discourse.
The PTTS has always taken the high road throughout the trial and has exhibited the utmost professionalism towards Save the Tarpon and its members. The PTTS will continue to conduct itself ethically, professionally and will stand up for the rights of all fishermen.
2015 series to air on WFN 2nd quarter of 2016
2015 stream live from your internet available soon
Week one teaser
Week two teaser
Week three teaser
Congratulations To Dave Markett And His Teams