The NFL is in turmoil after this possibly league-destroying antitrust suit exposed its illegal price gouging scheme

AJ Guel, CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2, via Wikimedia Commons

The National Football League pulls in tens of billions of dollars in revenue each year.

A good chunk of that money was apparently made through illegal means though.

And now the NFL is in turmoil after this possibly league-destroying antitrust suit exposed its illegal price gouging scheme.

Billions of dollars are on the line for the NFL

Nine years after the first antitrust lawsuit was filed by viewers against the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket” scheme, the case is finally being heard – this time as a class action.

The trial has seen testimony being delivered by dictatorial, elitist NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the greedy, slimy owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones.

The case began moving forward in early June, and jury deliberations have already started over whether or not the NFL had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by double charging viewers for home game coverage.

“The plaintiffs are seeking $7 billion in damages, but because it’s a federal antitrust case in which damages can triple, that number could increase to $21 billion,” reported the New York Times.

What exactly is “Sunday Ticket”

The NFL has long promoted their “Sunday Ticket” program that allows viewers to watch all of their favorite team’s home and away games, regardless of whether or not it was being broadcast in their local market.

Historically, DirecTV held exclusive rights over “Sunday Ticket”, which forced viewers who wanted to watch every game to buy the satellite provider’s service, and pay hundreds more for the NFL package.

But lately, the NFL has opened “Sunday Ticket” up for bidding from other TV providers, allowing YouTubetv to offer the package last season.

Like the DirecTV deal, this meant that viewers would have to purchase Google’s YouTubeTV and pay even more for “Sunday Ticket.”

For wildly successful bars, this strategy didn’t hurt as much other than putting more costs on owners.

But for individual viewers, it was a disaster.

The arguments on either side

Viewers have argued that the new business strategy financially drills viewers who wish to remain dedicated to their teams and the sport.

Rather than offer competitive coverage, which keeps costs for fans in mind, they alleged that the NFL had sold them out in exchange for a fat $2 billion payout from Google.

The league argued, however, that it was about elevating their “premium service.”

The case summary noted that “plaintiffs claim that absent the allegedly anticompetitive agreements at issue, the telecasts available on Sunday Ticket would be available through other means, which would result in more access to telecasts of NFL games at lower prices.”

“We have been clear throughout that it is a premium product,” Goodell claimed in court. “Not just on pricing but quality.”

“Fans make that choice whether they wanted it or not,” he continued.

While the trial nears its conclusion, fans are likely to not see any true resolve to the debate any time soon.

Experts predict that, regardless of which way the court moves, because of how much money is on the line, that decision is likely to get appealed.

US Political Daily will keep you updated on any developments to this ongoing story.