NFL to pay $4.8 billion for Sunday Ticket case

While a jury ordered the NFL to pay $4.8 billion, it could ultimately pay three times that amount due to antitrust law.

A federal jury has ordered the NFL to pay nearly $4.8 billion in damages for violating antitrust laws in the distribution of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on a premium subscription service.

The NFL was found to have sold its package of Sunday games at an inflated price and restricted competition by offering “Sunday Ticket” exclusively on a satellite provider.


The big picture: The jury awarded $4.7 billion in damages to residential subscribers and $96 million to commercial subscribers. Due to federal antitrust laws, the damages could triple, potentially making the NFL liable for $14.39 billion.

  • The lawsuit covered 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses in the United States who paid for the package of out-of-market games from 2011 to 2022 seasons on DirecTV.
  • The NFL has expressed its intention to appeal the verdict, with the appeal potentially going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and, eventually, the Supreme Court.
  • If the NFL ends up paying the damages, it would cost each of the 32 teams approximately $449.6 million.

What we’re watching: Post-trial motions, including the NFL’s request for the judge to rule in favor of the league, are scheduled to be heard on July 31 by Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.

  • Payment of damages and any potential changes to the “Sunday Ticket” package will be stayed until all appeals have been concluded.
  • Other professional sports leagues offering out-of-market packages have been observing this case, as it may have implications for their distribution models.

Flashback: This lawsuit was initially filed in 2015 by a San Francisco sports bar and was later reinstated as a class action by the 9th Circuit.

Related Posts