A PYMNTS Company

NFL Antitrust Verdict Amounts to $4.7 Billion in ‘Sunday Ticket’ Case

 |  July 4, 2024
A federal jury has ordered the National Football League (NFL) to pay $4,707,259,944.64 in damages for violating antitrust laws related to the distribution of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games. The judgment, dated June 27, was revealed in documents posted on the case docket Tuesday.

The lawsuit, which has been closely followed by fans and legal experts alike, covered 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses across the United States. These subscribers had paid for the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package on DirecTV, which offered out-of-market games from the 2011 through 2022 seasons. The plaintiffs argued that the NFL had broken antitrust laws by inflating the price of the package and restricting competition by offering “Sunday Ticket” exclusively through a satellite provider.

Related: NFL’s Exclusive Streaming of Playoff Game Raises Antitrust Concerns

According to the Associated Press, the jury, comprising five men and three women, found the NFL liable for $4,610,331,671.74 in damages to residential subscribers and $96,928,272.90 to business subscribers. Federal antitrust laws allow for damages to be tripled, meaning the NFL could potentially face a liability of up to $14,121,779,833.92.

This staggering sum would be distributed equally among the NFL’s 32 teams, resulting in each team potentially owing $441.3 million.

The verdict marks a significant setback for the NFL, which has long defended its distribution model for out-of-market games. Legal analysts suggest that this case could have wide-ranging implications for how professional sports leagues package and sell broadcasting rights in the future.

Source: AP News