An antitrust lawsuit has been filed against NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, NFL Sunday Ticket provider DirecTV and every team in the NFL.
Dominic Patten reports on Deadline.com that the “sprawling new antitrust class action lawsuit” was filed Friday by lawyers for New York’s Bounce Sporting Club, among other establishments, along with Oakland resident Jonathan Frantz.
The suit states: “The 32 professional football teams that compete in the National Football League (‘NFL’) have agreed among themselves to eliminate all competition in the broadcasting and sale of live video presentations of professional football games.”
The 40-page complaint seeks an injunction in federal court. The complaint zeros in on DirecTV’s NFL package, which the report says is offered to fans for more than $350 per season.
The complaint says: “The Teams have agreed not to avail themselves of cable, satellite, or Internet distribution channels individually. On information and belief, DirecTV’s contracts with the NFL include clauses mandating that the NFL and its Teams retain that anticompetitive scheme.”
The report notes that the NFL could find itself facing off against millions of class members if the suit is certified as the attorneys are seeking. Some of the attorneys, the story notes, are also participating in a similar action against Major League Baseball.
“As for the broadcasters? A shattering of the current system could see not only Sunday Ticket lose its grip but the approximately $6 billion annually networks pay to the NFL to show games on ‘Sunday Night Football,’ ‘Monday Night Football’ and ‘Thursday Night Football’ move to a whole new more individualized and undoubtedly digital landscape — one where they potentially could not command the big ad bucks they presently receive,” Patten writes.
We encourage readers to read Patten’s full report on the case by clicking on the link near the top of this story.