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Jury Deliberates NFL’s ‘Sunday Ticket’ Class-Action Lawsuit

 |  June 27, 2024

The NFL’s consideration of a broadcasting landscape without “Sunday Ticket” in 2017 has resurfaced as a critical element in a class-action lawsuit currently being deliberated by a jury. The plaintiffs, subscribers of “Sunday Ticket,” presented a league memo from April 21, 2017, titled “NFL New Frontier,” during their closing arguments on Wednesday.

The memo, which was shown to the jury, detailed a reimagined approach to Sunday afternoon NFL games, suggesting that all out-of-market games not aired on Fox or CBS could instead be broadcast on cable channels. This proposal would have significantly altered the current broadcasting model, wherein DirecTV has exclusive rights to these games through its “Sunday Ticket” package.

According to the memo, under this new model, Fox and CBS would have paid approximately 25% less per game, equating to around $10 million per game. In contrast, cable networks would have contributed $9 million per game, matching the average payment made by DirecTV under its contract with the NFL.

Related: NFL Faces Antitrust Trial Over ‘Sunday Ticket’ Telecast in Los Angeles

The jury began deliberations on Wednesday afternoon after receiving instructions from U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez. The day’s proceedings included the plaintiffs’ closing statement in the morning, followed by the NFL’s final remarks after lunch. The plaintiffs then had a 20-minute rebuttal session. The jury met for 90 minutes before adjourning for the day, with deliberations set to continue on Thursday.

This three-week trial has been marked by high-profile testimonies from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The 2017 memo has emerged as one of the most significant revelations, shedding light on the league’s considerations and potential shifts in its broadcasting strategies.

Source: AP News