NFL Forced To Pay an Astounding $4.8 Billion

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( – On Thursday, the National Football League (NFL) was ordered to pay close to $4.8 billion for having violated the antitrust laws with the distribution of the “Sunday Ticket” package of out-of-market games. 

The verdict came after a class-action trial that has lasted over the last few months, which awarded over $4.6 billion in damages to 2.4 million residential subscribers. A group of 48,000 businesses that had subscribed to the single satellite TV service in question are also to receive $96 million in damages. Under federal antitrust laws, the NFL could end up liable for $14.39 billion, as the damages can be tripled. 

On Thursday, the NFL noted that it was disappointed with the verdict of the jury and that they would be appealing the decision on the lawsuit. The league continued by noting that they had continued to believe that their media distribution strategy, which includes all the NFL games being broadcasted for free over-the-air television of the participating teams and national distribution of the league’s most popular games is the most fan-friendly distribution model followed in entertainment and sports. It added that they would be appealing this decision as they believe that the claims in the class action are completely without merit and base. 

The plaintiffs had argued that the prices that the NFL had sold Sunday afternoon games for were inflated and that it had restricted competition as the service was only offered on DirecTV, a satellite provider. 

Bill Carmody, the attorney representing the plaintiffs argued that with this verdict justice was delivered. 

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