Roger Goodell: NFL disagrees with Sunday Ticket verdict

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the league feels “very strongly about our position” and plans to follow the litigation in response to the recent verdict involving DirectTV’s Sunday Ticket packages.

A Los Angeles jury ordered the NFL last month to pay $4.7 billion in damages to the residential class and $96 million to the commercial class after it voted unanimously that the league, DirecTV, CBS and Fox colluded to increase the price of the game packages. The NFL could be on the hook for billions more, however, because damages are tripled under federal antitrust laws.

“We obviously disagree with the jury verdict and we are committed, obviously, to following the legal process,” Goodell said during an interview with CNBC. “It’s a long process and we’re aware of that. But we feel very strongly about our position, our policies, particularly on media.

“We make our sport available to the broadest possible audience. Sunday Ticket is just a complementary product. We’re committed to following the litigation all the way and making sure that we get this right.”

The class-action lawsuit began in 2015 with a complaint filed by a San Francisco sports bar named the Mucky Duck that was dismissed in 2017. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later reinstated the case, which last year became a class action and covered more than 2.4 million residential subscribers and more than 48,000 businesses that purchased DirectTV’s Sunday Ticket package of out-of-market games from the 2011 through 2022 seasons.

The NFL’s next step is expected on July 31, when it presumably will ask Judge Philip Gutierrez to set aside the verdict. Should that not be the case, the league is expected to appeal to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court.

Sunday Ticket was offered on DirecTV from 1994-2022 before the NFL reached a seven-year contract with Google’s YouTube TV that began in 2023.

–Field Level Media