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Federal Judges Consider High School Sports Case
CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal court in Chicago has heard oral arguments in a dispute that could help decide whether newspapers have a constitutional right to stream entire high school sporting events online.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals case pits a Wisconsin athletic association against state newspapers. But its outcome could have implications for sports coverage nationwide.

A media attorney told a three-judge panel Friday that First Amendment protections should allow newspapers to stream such state-funded events over the Internet as they choose.

But a lawyer for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association says it can't survive if it can't sell the exclusive right to broadcast whole games.

Judges grilled the newspapers' lawyer especially hard -- though tougher questioning doesn't necessarily mean they'll rule against that side. A court ruling could take months.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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