Saturday, July 13, 2024

The NFL is facing a class action suit over its Sunday Ticket package

Must read

Subscribers to the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” package are rushing the league in court, accusing it of violating antitrust laws and inflating prices.

A class action suit started earlier this month in federal court in Los Angeles accuses the league of abusing its antitrust exemption in the sale of its package of out-of-market games on Sundays, which air on CBS and Fox. Plaintiffs also accuse the league of restricting competition, by only making it available (until recently) on a satellite provider.

YouTube TV is the current home for Sunday Ticket, but it was previously only available on DirecTV.

Some 2.4 million subscribers, as well as 48,000 businesses, are included in the suit. If the NFL loses the case, it could face up to $21 billion in damages, due to how antitrust laws are written.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and originally dismissed two years later, as a judge said the Sunday Ticket package did not reduce the number of games available to watch. In 2019, an appeals court reinstated the case and it was given class action status last year.

Observers say there is a chance the NFL could run into some troubles in the trial, as plaintiffs’ attorneys have presented documents that show networks pressuring the league to keep Sunday Ticket pricing at or above a certain level ($293.96 per season), as well as the NFL rejecting a proposal by ESPN to offer the package for $70 per season on its streaming service.

The NFL is arguing it has the right to sell the Sunday Ticket package under its antitrust exemption for broadcasting.

It’s unclear when a decision will be reached, though even if the NFL loses, plaintiffs aren’t likely to see any money anytime soon, as the league will have many appeal options.

Subscribe to the Fortune Next to Lead newsletter to get weekly strategies on how to make it to the corner office. Sign up for free before it launches on June 24, 2024.

Latest article