DirecTV, NFL sued for 'anti-competitive' behaviour

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 15 July 2015

Global law firm Hausfeld and Glancy Prongay & Murray have filed a complaint against DirecTV and the US National Football League (NFL) with regards to alleged actions that are anti-competitive and that harm commercial entities.

Specifically, the action relates to the exclusive agreement between the NFL and the US satellite pay-TV provider with respect to the Sunday Ticket, asserting it damages business at places such as bars and restaurants that rely on the product to attract patrons on Sunday afternoons during the autumn US football season. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the overcharges stemming from this anti-competitive agreement and an injunction against the enforcement of the exclusivity provision of the NFL's agreement with DirecTV.

Said the law firm's owner Michael Hausfeld: "Clients have asked us to look into the exclusive distribution arrangement between DirecTV and the NFL because the price of Sunday Ticket has increased dramatically over the last few years. In 2015, the largest commercial establishments will pay in excess of $120,000 for the season, and the proposed merger between AT&T and DirecTV will only exacerbate the problem."

Co-counsel Lee Albert added: "The NFL is the only major professional sport with an exclusive out-of-market package, the NFL Sunday Ticket. The corresponding out-of-market sports packages offered by the NBA, the NHL, and MLB are all distributed by DirecTV and other satellite and cable operators. As a result, consumers are able to buy these packages at a lower price, and they receive many more games over a longer season."