ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox were dropped Friday from the class-action antitrust lawsuit that alleged DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket customers were unfairly treated by anti-competitive pricing and restrictive supply. Friday’s amended complaint indicates that only the NFL and DirecTV — and not CBS, NBC, Fox or ESPN — will continue as defendants in the case.
The lawsuit stems from cases that began last summer when various bars and restaurants began to oppose the prices they paid the NFL to show out of market games via DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket package. The various lawsuits were consolidated into a class action suit.
Friday’s amended complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in California, indicates that the four broadcasters were no longer defendants, and the lawsuit will now target only the NFL and DirecTV. NFL teams, per the complaint, “have agreed not to avail themselves of cable, satellite, or Internet distribution channels individually. In the absence of an agreement, each team would have an incentive to distribute its games nationally in these channels. Given the relatively low cost of internet streaming and satellite and cable television carriage, each team acting independently would offer their games at a competitive price to anybody in the country who wanted to watch that particular team. Instead, however, the Teams have all forgone this option in favor of creating a more lucrative monopoly.”