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Arena To Relocate Cigarette Signs So TV Cameos End

Sued by the Justice Department, Madison Square Garden agreed Tuesday to move cigarette advertising signs out of the camera’s eye during televised basketball and hockey games and other sports and entertainment events.

The lawsuit was the first brought by the department to prevent circumventing the 1971 federal law banning broadcast advertising of cigarettes.

The government accused the Garden, which owns the New York Knickerbockers of the National Basketball Association and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, of violating the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act by displaying a large Marlboro cigarette sign directly in front of the scorers’ table during televised Knicks games.

Assistant Attorney General Frank W. Hunger, head of the department’s civil division, announced that the lawsuit and a consent decree resolving it was filed in New York.