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Class action lawsuit over NFL Sunday Ticket heads to trial

(Stock image via Pixabay, Graphic by The Desk)
(Stock image via Pixabay, Graphic by The Desk)

Subscribers of the NFL Sunday Ticket will finally have their day in court as a years-long class action lawsuit heads to trial this week.

Jury selection in the case began on Wednesday, with opening arguments set to take place over the coming days.

The case centers around the National Football League’s (NFL) decision to award the Sunday Ticket package to DirecTV on an exclusive basis. The package gives football fans access to Sunday games aired on CBS and Fox beyond their home market.

Subscribers — residential customers, and some business clients like bars and restaurants — argue the NFL’s arrangement with DirecTV allowed the satellite broadcaster to artificially inflate prices for the package. The NFL says those allegations are merely “speculative” and paint the Sunday Ticket as an enhanced product that expands access to games, rather than restricting them.

The NFL Sunday Ticket package moved to YouTube last year, and is now offered through YouTube TV for $350 per season and YouTube Primetime Channels for $450 per season. At DirecTV, NFL Sunday Ticket cost around $300 per season, though the satellite broadcaster often discounted the package for new customers as an incentive to draw more business for its pay TV product.

Neither DirecTV nor YouTube parent Google are defendants in the case.

The jury is asking for as much as $7 billion in actual and punitive damages.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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