NFL Hit With $4.7 Billion Verdict in Sunday Ticket Case

A federal jury in L.A. ordered the NFL to pay aggrieved sports fans a total of $4.7 billion after finding the league conspired with DirecTV to increase the price of the exclusive Sunday Ticket games package.

The class-action lawsuit, originally filed in 2015, represented more than 2.4 million residential subscribers and more than 48,000 restaurants, bars and other commercial establishments that purchased Sunday Ticket when it was still with DirecTV. The jury awarded consumers represented in the class-action suit damages of $4.7 billion, while the class comprising commercial locations was awarded $96 million. The plaintiffs had been seeking as much as $7 billion in damages.

The NFL plans to appeal the verdict. The league has insisted that it has “the most-friendly distribution model” in the sports industry.

“We are disappointed with the jury’s verdict today in the NFL Sunday Ticket class action lawsuit,” an NFL rep said in a statement, “We continue to believe that our media distribution strategy, which features all NFL games broadcast on free over-the-air television in the markets of the participating teams and national distribution of our most popular games, supplemented by many additional choices including RedZone, Sunday Ticket and NFL+, is by far the most fan-friendly distribution model in all of sports and entertainment. We thank the jury for their time and service and for the guidance and oversight from Judge Gutierrez throughout the trial.”

Until the 2023-24 NFL season, DirecTV had been the distribution partner for Sunday Ticket since 1994. DirecTV lost its 28-year hold on Sunday Ticket for consumers when Google secured a seven-year deal with the NFL to sell the package via YouTube. Currently, Sunday Ticket includes all out-of-market Sunday regular-season NFL games that are broadcast on Fox and CBS.

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