NFL ordered to pay $4.7 billion in ‘Sunday Ticket’ lawsuit

The NFL has been ordered by a jury in a U.S. district court to pay more than $4.7 billion in damages in connection with a lawsuit arising from the “Sunday Ticket” subscription service. ESPN reported on Wednesday (June 27).

The league violated antitrust law by distributing Sunday afternoon games outside the market via a premium subscription service. It was ordered to pay $4.7 billion in damages to the private class and $96 million in damages to the commercial class.

“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict today in the NFL Sunday Ticket class action lawsuit. We continue to believe that our media distribution strategy, which includes airing all NFL games on free over-the-air television in participating team markets and national distribution of our most popular games, supplemented with many additional choices including RedZone, Sunday Ticket and NFL+, is by far the most fan-friendly distribution model in sports and entertainment,” the NFL said in a statement obtained by ESPN.

“We will certainly appeal this decision, as we believe the class action claims in this case are without merit and without merit. We thank the jury for their time and service, and for Judge Gutierrez’s guidance and supervision during the trial.”

The lawsuit involved 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses who paid for the ‘Sunday Ticket’ package through DirecTV previously from 2011 through 2022, alleging that the NFL violated antitrust laws by offering the package at an inflated price to sell and limit competition to only offered the service through a satellite provider before switching to YouTube TV last season.

“This case goes beyond football. This case is important,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer Bill Carmody said during the closing speech on Wednesday via ESPN“It’s about fairness. It’s about telling the 32 team owners who collectively own all the major TV rights, the most popular content in the history of TV — that’s what they have. It’s about telling that even you are breaking antitrust laws can’t ignore. Even you can’t conspire to overcharge consumers. Even you can’t hide the truth and think you can get away with it.”