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NFL Found Guilty of Antitrust Violations in ‘Sunday Ticket’ Trial, Must Pay $4.8 Billion

 |  June 27, 2024

After two days of deliberation, a jury has determined that the National Football League (NFL) violated antitrust laws by monopolizing prices through its exclusive distribution of the “Sunday Ticket” package on DirecTV. The New York Post reports that the league has been ordered to pay approximately $4.7 billion to fans, along with an additional $96 million to bars that subscribed to the service.

The verdict concludes a three-week trial that featured testimony from prominent figures, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The decision, which found the NFL guilty of creating an unfair monopoly, could lead to changes in how the league packages and sells its game broadcasts.

In response to the ruling, the NFL announced its would appeal and defended its media distribution strategy, which it claims is the most fan-friendly model in sports and entertainment. This strategy includes broadcasting all games on free over-the-air television in local markets, nationally distributing popular games, and offering additional choices through services like RedZone, Sunday Ticket, and NFL+. “We will certainly contest this decision as we believe that the class action claims in this case are baseless and without merit,” the NFL stated.

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

Looking ahead, if the verdict is not overturned, the court may be asked to consider structural changes to the Sunday Ticket package. Additionally, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are expected to request an award of legal fees. Once these issues are resolved, the NFL plans to appeal any adverse rulings to the Ninth Circuit. The league anticipates that the payment of damages and the implementation of any changes to the Sunday Ticket package will be postponed until all appeals have been exhausted.

Source: New York Post