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Landmark Decision: NFL Found Guilty in Sunday Ticket Antitrust Lawsuit

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In a historic verdict, the NFL has been found guilty of violating antitrust laws in the distribution of its out-of-market Sunday afternoon games through the ‘Sunday Ticket‘ premium subscription service. The ruling came after extensive legal proceedings and a class-action lawsuit filed by ‘Sunday Ticket’ subscribers.

The lawsuit, initiated in 2015 and finally reaching a verdict, alleged that the NFL’s exclusive agreement with DirecTV to offer ‘Sunday Ticket’ at an inflated price constituted anticompetitive practices, limiting consumer choices and inflating costs.

Key players like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were called to testify during the trial, providing insights into the league’s distribution strategy and broadcast partnerships.

The jury’s decision ordered substantial damages of over $4.7 billion to be paid to residential and commercial subscribers of ‘Sunday Ticket,’ marking a significant financial blow to the NFL. The awarded damages potentially amount to a trebled total under federal antitrust laws, depending on the appeal process.

The case, which entailed over 2.4 million residential subscribers and thousands of businesses purchasing ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ between 2011 and 2023, represents one of the largest consumer class actions against the NFL in recent memory.

Following the verdict, the NFL announced its intent to appeal the decision, setting the stage for continued legal wrangling over the league’s media distribution practices.

Rachel Adams

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