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    ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ Trial FAQ: Breaking Down the Verdict, Antitrust Violations

    Read up on everything you need to know regarding the landmark court case for the NFL Sunday Ticket package and streaming platforms as a whole.

    A landmark case regarding the NFL and its “Sunday Ticket” package has taken yet another turn.

    A jury in the U.S. District Court found that the NFL violated antitrust laws in distributing out-of-market Sunday afternoon games on a premium subscription service Thursday evening. While the league is currently forced to pay a massive sum to both commercial and residential areas, the case is far from over.

    We have you covered on some of the more pressing questions regarding the case and where both sides go from here.

    What Did the NFL Do Wrong?

    The plaintiffs argued that the league violated antitrust laws in distributing Sunday afternoon out-of-market games on a premium service.

    While all major sports in America, such as the MLB, NBA, and the NHL, market out-of-town games on different platforms, the other leagues market their packages on multiple distributors and share in the revenue per subscriber instead of receiving an outright rights fee.

    The fact that the NFL only allows for one distributor — and they are allowed to increase prices significantly because of that — is the reason for the lawsuit in the first place. DirecTV was the original provider from 1994 to 2022 before the league moved the package to YouTube TV last season.

    The biggest question regarding this case has been the NFL’s antitrust exemption. The league has been awarded that exemption since 1961, allowing it to bypass the federal government on most major cases across the league’s history.

    With premium services not seen as part of that exemption, the NFL and other leagues can potentially be penalized for their out-of-market game plans.

    How Much Will the NFL Have To Pay?

    As of now, the NFL has been ordered to pay damages to two classes of plaintiffs: the residential and commercial classes. Currently, the residential class earns $4.7 billion, while the commercial class will receive $96 million.

    It’s very important to note that damages can be tripled under federal antitrust laws. In that regard, the NFL could end up being liable for $14.39 billion — almost 1/6th of the league’s current revenue.

    MORE: Sunday Ticket Trial Comes to Dramatic End: NFL Must Pay $4.7 Billion

    Until the appeals process is concluded, though, no damages will be awarded to any particular group. The league has already begun focusing on the next steps in that process.

    How Much Will ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ Consumers Receive?

    It’s important to remember that while the NFL has lost this particular lawsuit, the league doesn’t have to offer any sort of payment just yet until the full appeals process plays out.

    As of now, though, the league has been ordered to pay $4.7 billion in damages to the residential class. Residential classes mean anyone who has used DirectTV (the NFL’s original streaming platform for Sunday Ticket) between June 17, 2011, and Feb. 7, 2023. If the verdict is upheld, NFL Sunday Ticket consumers during that time period would receive close to $2,000.

    Anyone who was awarded the streaming platform for free as a way to entice new customers is excluded from this particular lawsuit money.

    While no one will receive any money just yet until the appeals process is concluded, this is a significant decision made in the courts to keep the league accountable, and it could change streaming platforms in the future.

    What Are the Next Steps?

    Many people will think that, based on this ruling, they’re about to get a lot of money from the NFL. But that’s not going to be the case just yet.

    In a statement made following the jury’s ruling, the NFL has already confirmed they would be appealing the decision and taking the necessary steps to try and overturn the latest ruling.

    U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez is planning to hear post-trial motions on July 31, and the jury’s decision could be overturned if he feels the plaintiffs didn’t provide enough evidence.

    KEEP READING: Who Are the NFL’s Richest Owners? Ranking Every Owner 32 to 1

    Following that process, the NFL would then appeal the ruling and take the case up the court system while their payment requirements would be halted until those rulings are completed.

    However this truly ends, it doesn’t look like the league is going to go down that quickly.

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