Closing arguments begin in NFL 'Sunday Ticket' class-action lawsuit

FILE-A football with the NFL logo is seen before the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

A jury will hear closing arguments on Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit filed by "Sunday Ticket" subscribers against the NFL.

The judge provided jurors instructions, and plaintiffs in the case gave their final statements while NFL officials will speak Wednesday afternoon.

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According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit started on June 6, highlighted by testimony from NFL executives, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

What is the NFL "Sunday Ticket" lawsuit about?

Approximately 2.4 million subscribers and 48,000 businesses are involved in the lawsuit, with these groups purchasing the sports package of out-of-market games from the 2011 through 2022 NFL seasons on DirecTV.

Plaintiffs allege the NFL violated antitrust laws when the league sold its package of Sunday games broadcast on CBS and Fox at a high price. The subscribers also claim the NFL limited competition by offering "Sunday Ticket" only through a satellite provider.

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According to the AP, the NFL asserts they can sell "Sunday Ticket" packages under its antitrust exemption for broadcasting. However, the plaintiffs contend that it only covers over-the-air broadcasts and not pay TV.

DirecTV had "Sunday Ticket" from its beginning in 1994 through 2022. The NFL inked a seven-year deal with YouTube TV that started in the 2023 season.

CBS and Fox pay a combined average of $4.3 billion each NFL season for Sunday afternoon games, while YouTube TV pays an average of $2 billion annually for the "Sunday Ticket" rights.

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If the NFL is found liable in the case, the jury might award $7 billion in damages to plaintiffs, which could soar to $21 billion since antitrust cases can increase damages awarded. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.