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    NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ Trial: Commissioner Roger Goodell, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Testify in Class-Action Lawsuit

    The NFL "Sunday Ticket" trial continued in federal court on Monday as commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were called to the stand.

    It’s no secret that the NFL dominates the national sports media market. Yet, the league’s greed involving their “Sunday Ticket” package is being called into question in a class-action lawsuit that continued on Monday.

    As the trial continues, two of the NFL’s biggest public figures took the stand on Monday. Including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

    What Is the NFL ‘Sunday Ticket’ Trial About?

    The NFL “Sunday Ticket” trial involves subscribers to the service making two massive claims against the league. Subscribers claim that the NFL restricted competition for the service by only offering “Sunday Ticket” on a satellite provider.

    The other major claim in this case is that the NFL violated antitrust laws by selling out-of-market Sunday afternoon games airing on Fox and CBS at an inflated price.

    Although the claims are finally being discussed in federal court now, the lawsuit was originally filed in 2015. After initially being dismissed in 2017, the case was reinstated in 2019.

    MORE: Everything You Need to Know About the NFL Sunday Ticket Trial

    On Feb. 7, 2023, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that the case could continue as a class-action lawsuit. On Jan. 12, 2024, Guitierrez denied the NFL’s final attempt to dismiss the case.

    Now the trial for the class-action lawsuit is in its third week as both Goodell and Jones were called to the stand on Monday. What did two of the most popular public figures in the NFL have to say during their moment in court?

    What Did Roger Goodell Say on the Stand?

    Goodell was called to the stand as a witness on Monday by subscribers to the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” service at the center of the class-action lawsuit. Goodell remained adamant that the NFL did nothing wrong despite the claims against the league.

    “We have been clear throughout that it is a premium product. Not just on pricing but quality,” Goodell stated when asked about the apparent inflated price of the service, according to the Associated Press.

    “Fans make that choice whether they wanted it or not. I’m sure there were fans who said it was too costly.”

    Goodell believes that the NFL’s accessibility is part of why the league dominates the television market. Yet, it’s clear that “Sunday Ticket” subscribers involved in the class-action lawsuit believe the league restricted the product’s accessibility.

    “We sing it from the mountaintops, we want to reach the broadest possible audience on free television,” Goodell stated. “I think we are very pro-consumer. Our partners have found ways to build our fan base.”

    What Did Jerry Jones Say on the Stand?

    Jones followed Goodell at the stand as a member of the league’s media committee. Although Jones will continue his testimony on Tuesday, he made a bold statement during his time on the stand.

    “I am convinced I would make a lot more money than the [Cincinnati] Bengals,” Jones said when asked about the NFL’s current broadcast model and the potential thought of individual teams being allowed to sell their out-of-market rights.

    “I’m completely against each team doing TV deals,” Jones continued. “It is flawed.”

    It’s quite telling that Jones is so adamantly against that idea, given that Dallas’ rights would likely command the highest price among every team in the NFL. However, it’s clear that Jones supports the NFL’s current broadcast model and is on the same page as Goodell.

    Jones will continue his testimony at the stand on Tuesday, as he continues to defend the NFL’s stance. He will likely be followed by former CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus at the stand as well.

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