Simon Romanov

Federal jury orders NFL to pay $4 billion for 'Sunday Ticket'

"NFL Sunday Ticket." subscribers sued the NFL, and a federal jury awarded $4.7 billion in residential class damages and $96 million in business class damages.  

Journalist Meghann Cuniff reported the verdict.  

The NFL, its teams, and its network partners (DirecTV, CBS, ESPN, and Fox) broke antitrust laws by conspiring to limit competition and overprice the out-of-market TV package, according to the lawsuit.  

Over 2.4 million home subscribers and 48,000 restaurants, pubs, and other businesses that bought "Sunday Ticket." were plaintiffs.  

Mucky Duck sports bar in San Francisco filed the case in 2015, charging that DirecTV, CBS, ESPN, and Fox violated antitrust law by restricting competition in exclusive NFL deals that restricted fans' access to watch out-of-market games.  

From 1994 to 2022, DirecTV offered "NFL Sunday Ticket" exclusively. The plaintiffs sued for $7 billion. Federal antitrust law triples damages, thus Spotrac expects the $4 billion verdict to rise to $12 billion.  

Sportico's Michael McCann argues that the damages are "excessive and unreasonable," and the NFL will appeal to U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez.  

"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 in a statement.  

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