A Sunday ticket jury ordered the NFL to pay fans $4.7 billion in damages

The NFL has been hit with $4.7 billion in a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of residential and commercial customers who paid for Sunday ticket packages on DirecTV from 2011 to 2022.

Originally filed in 2015 by the Mookie Duck Sports Bar, the suit alleged that the league and its teams conspired to give DirecTV an illegal monopoly on out-of-market games, starting with the 2023 season, until YouTube took it over. Plaintiffs noted that other leagues distributed live, out-of-market games through multiple providers instead of a single exclusive partner, such as the NFL, and argued during the lawsuit that the system not only inflated Sunday ticket prices but forced viewers to pay. Games on weeks when their favorite team does not play.

Court News reports During the trial, the NFL rejected bids for the package, which would have made the offer cheaper, more flexible and available to millions of additional customers. Before YouTube snapped up the exclusive package, which now sells for $349 a year, an email from the NFL’s chief media and business officer said ESPN offered Sunday Ticket for $70 a year and allowed fans to purchase one package per team only. .

After three weeks of trial, ESPN reports The jury deliberated for nearly five hours before reaching its decision. They paid $96 million in restitution to bars and restaurants and $4.7 billion to customers. According to USA TodayIf it stops, it could triple under federal law.

A statement issued to several media outlets by the NFL said the league would appeal the decision. Front office game reports In 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, but later ruled that it could proceed as a class action, though the judgment could be thrown out, and post-trial motions were set for a hearing on July 31.

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