NFL liable for more than $4.7 billion in Sunday Ticket case

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LOS ANGELES — The damages a federal jury has ordered the NFL to pay for violating antitrust laws in distributing out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on a premium subscription service is $4,707,259,944.64.

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The figures from the June 27 judgement against the NFL were listed on the verdict form, which was posted on the case docket Tuesday.

The lawsuit covered 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses in the United States who paid for the package on DirecTV of out-of-market games from the 2011 through 2022 seasons. The lawsuit claimed the league broke antitrust laws by selling the package at an inflated price. The subscribers also say the league restricted competition by offering Sunday Ticket only on a satellite provider.

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The jury of five men and three women found the NFL liable for $4,610,331,671.74 in damages to the residential class (home subscribers) and $96,928,272.90 in damages to the commercial class (business subscribers).

Since damages can be tripled under federal antitrust laws, the NFL could end up being liable for more than $14 billion.

Damages would be spread equally among the 32 teams, meaning each team could owe $441.3 million.

During deliberations, the jury requested data on the number of subscribers each year of the class action as well as the cost of each type of Sunday Ticket subscription.

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The jury also asked for the reports that four economists who testified on behalf of the plaintiffs and the NFL produced, but those were not admitted as evidence.

Judge Philip S. Gutierrez is scheduled to hear post-trial motions on July 31, including the NFL’s request to have him rule in favour of the league by determining the plaintiffs did not prove their case.

The NFL has said it would appeal the verdict. That appeal would go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then possibly the Supreme Court.

Payment of damages, any changes to the Sunday Ticket package and/or the ways the NFL carries its Sunday afternoon games would be stayed until all appeals have been concluded.

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