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SCOTUS Rejects NFL, DirecTV Appeal In Sunday Ticket Antitrust Suit

 |  November 2, 2020

The US Supreme Court on Monday, November 2, refused to hear a bid by the National Football League and AT&T’s DirecTV unit to avoid a proposed class-action antitrust lawsuit that accuses them of overcharging for a popular satellite television package, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The NFL and DirecTV had asked the justices to overturn a lower court’s 2019 ruling that revived the suit filed on behalf of subscribers of Sunday Ticket, their package that lets NFL fans watch out-of-market games not broadcast in their local television markets for US$294 a season.

The Supreme Court’s action means the lawsuit can move forward. Its action may increase the likelihood of a settlement that would partially reimburse subscribers.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that in rejecting the NFL’s appeal at this early stage of the lawsuit, the high court was not necessarily endorsing the claims. “In sum, the defendants – the NFL, its teams, and DirecTV – have substantial arguments on the law. If the defendants do not prevail at summary judgment or at trial, they may raise those legal arguments again” in a new appeal to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh wrote.