Sunday Ticket jury orders NFL to pay fans $4.7 billion in damages

The NFL has been hit with a $4.7 billion verdict in a class action antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of residential and commercial customers who paid for its Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV from 2011 through 2022.

Originally filed in 2015 by the Mucky Duck sports bar, the lawsuit claimed that the league and its teams had conspired to give DirecTV an illegal monopoly on out-of-market games until YouTube took it over, starting with the 2023 season. The plaintiffs noted that other leagues distributed live, out-of-market games through multiple providers instead of just one exclusive partner like the NFL and argued during the case that the setup not only inflated the price of Sunday Ticket but also forced viewers to pay for games during weeks when their preferred team wasn’t playing.

Courthouse News reports that during the trial, evidence showed that the NFL turned down bids for the package that would’ve made the offer cheaper, more flexible, and available to millions of additional customers. Before YouTube snagged the exclusive package that it now sells for $349 per year, the report says that an email from the NFL’s chief media and business officer showed ESPN proposed offering Sunday Ticket for $70 per year and allowing fans to buy a package for just one team.

After a three-week trial, ESPN reports the jury deliberated for almost five hours before reaching the decision. They awarded $96 million in damages to the bars and restaurants and $4.7 billion to customers, according to USA Today, which, if it stands, could be tripled under federal law.

A statement from the NFL given to multiple media outlets said the league would appeal the decision. Front Office Sports reports that US District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, who dismissed the case in 2019 but later ruled it could proceed as a class action, could still throw out the verdict, and post-trial motions are set for a hearing on July 31st.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top