Jam Sues TM Over Contracts

Jam Productions filed a suit against Ticketmaster Nov. 1 in Chicago, accusing the ticketing giant of breaking its contract to provide services to three venues by merging with Live Nation and failing to pay royalties.

Jam is asking Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Maki to settle the dispute with Ticketmaster and terminate TM’s right to sell tickets at Chicago’s Park West, Riviera and Vic theatres.

At issue is a key component of the marriage of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, announced last year but blessed by the U.S. Department of Justice in February. Promoters who had venue deals before the merger had testified in hearings it would force them to hand over data and profits to their biggest competitor, Live Nation.

In Jam’s case, the suit asserts its TM contract “allows Jam to terminate the relationship if Ticketmaster becomes ‘engaged in the day-to-day business of promoting live entertainment events or primarily engaged in the day-to-day business of artist management,’” the Chicago Sun-Times quoted from the complaint.

The termination is necessary, Jam says in the suit, to avoid forcing Jam to maintain a business relationship with one of its competitors. The five-year contract was originally inked in 2006.

Jam has used North Carolina-based eTix to handle some ticket sales at the three venues since summer. Jam reportedly notified Ticketmaster July 1 that it intended to end the contract, but the request was rejected.

The five-count complaint also claims Ticketmaster owes at least $32,940.71 in royalties from ticket sales prior to the termination of the contract.

Entertainment Consultants Inc., an affiliate of Jam Productions, is also reportedly a plaintiff in the suit. ECI claims Ticketmaster terminated their “as-needed” consulting services at the three venues, and asks the judge to order TM to pony up $125,000 in owed payments.

Jam Productions’ Jerry Mickelson said he could not comment on the filing, and a spokesman for Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A case management hearing is scheduled May 13 in Cook County’s chauncery court.