By Alfred Branch, Jr.

Ticketmaster President and CEO Sean Moriarty, in response to the lawsut filed Monday by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Flash Seats, said the Cavs “breached their contract” with Ticketmaster when the team turned to Flash Seats for the handling of secondary ticket sales.

“The Cavaliers’ and Flash Seats’ lawsuit aims to deflect attention from the fact that the Cavaliers and Ticketmaster fairly negotiated a contract for Ticketmaster to serve as the team’s exclusive primary and secondary ticketing company,” Moriarty said in a prepared statement. “However, after accepting a large upfront payment from Ticketmaster for these rights, the Cavaliers breached their contract by establishing a ticketing arrangement with another ticketing company, Flash Seats, which not coincidentally is owned and controlled by Cavaliers’ ownership.” . . .
Flash Seats is owned by Camelot Ventures, a venture capital firm partially owned by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. The team is using Flash Seats’ electronic, paperless ticketing technology to allow season ticket holders and fans to resell, buy and otherwise distribute tickets at the secondary level. The two allege that Ticketmaster is violating state and federal anti-trust laws by supposedly trying to squash competition.

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Moriarty vehemently denies that Ticketmaster is using anti-competitive tactics. “The ticketing industry today is more competitive than ever, and Ticketmaster welcomes and embraces the dynamic and highly competitive resale market. Federal courts have recently ruled that Ticketmaster acts in full compliance with the antitrust laws and that the ticketing industry is open and competitive,” he said.

The Cavs, he continued, refused to honor “their contractual obligations to us” for the entire 2006-2007 NBA season, which Ticketmaster is prepared to litigate. So, while not surprised, Ticketmaster is “disappointed” to watch as the two “are now further avoiding responsibility for their actions – and seeking to mislead the public and the courts in the process – by making false allegations about Ticketmaster in response to our pending litigation against them,” Moriarty said.

“Ticketmaster leads the industry because it provides superior technology and superior client service, and we are confident that the courts will again find that Ticketmaster succeeds in winning contracts by competing fairly,” Moriarty added.