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Roger Goodell Testifies in NFL “Sunday Ticket” Trial

The National Football League (NFL) has found itself embroiled in a class-action lawsuit that has spanned for nearly a decade. Back in 2015, a San Fransisco pub called the Mucky Duck filed a complaint against the league for its handling of out-of-market broadcasts. The class-action lawsuit alleges that the NFL colluded with network partners CBS and Fox, along with Direct TV, controlling the pricing of Sunday Ticket to ensure that it remained expensive. This is a violation of antitrust law.

This class action was filed on behalf of more than 2.4 million residential subscribers and more than 48,000 restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments that show NFL games. The plaintiffs are estimating $7 billion in damages for the period between 2011 and 2022. These are tripled in antitrust cases, bringing the tally to $21 billion.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took the stand to testify in the lawsuit on Monday, June 17, 2024. Goodell contended that “Sunday Ticket” was “innovative” and “competitive” in the face of questioning from the opposing legal team. However, Goodell did acknowledge that he did not read or understand the NFL’s agreement with Direct TV to launch the package on a subscription basis before signing the contracts.

Read:

The trial could have significant ramifications for the NFL’s television broadcasting practices going forward. If the league is found at fault, new structures that offer fans more diverse options, and even team-by-team television negotiations, could be potential futures.