antitrust lawsuit

sschind

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I guess I don't really understand this lawsuit against the NFL. It seems to have 2 parts to it, or at least two main complaints. The first one I really have no idea about and that is distributing the out of market games. I have no idea how the NFL structures their contracts with the various outlets so I really can't speak to that.

As far as the overcharging thing I get it that people always want things cheaper but IMO companies are free to charge whatever they want unless there was a specific agreement to charge a certain amount and they charged more than that. I mean if the Sunday ticket cost 10.00 or 1000.00 its up to the consumer to decide if they want to pay. And before you go and say I think its OK for drug companies to charge exorbitant prices for life saving drugs the NFL Sunday ticket is not, despite what some might claim, a matter of life or death.

See if I am close to figuring out what the problem is. In this scenario The Packers are playing the Cardinals in an afternoon game but the NFL makes Rams Seahawks the nationally televised late game. If I live in Green Bay I will be able to watch the Packer/Cardinal game game because it is in my market but if I live in Florida I won't be able to watch it. This is the way its always been. Sucks for out of market fans but it is what it is. So I buy the Sunday Ticket which allows me to watch all games even out of market ones. Now I'm pissed because it cost too much so I sue the NFL. To me that's not right.

Lastly, if the settlement does hold up are all you Packer owners going to have to fork over some cash or what?
 

El Guapo

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I guess that I never heard about it being a two part lawsuit. Generally I think/thought that it was about how the NFL limited access to out-of-market games. Part of this has to do with the league's antitrust exemption, which is what makes it different than big pharma or other professional leagues. You could plainly boil this down to the NFL "getting its cake" via the 1960s antitrust exemption, and then "eating it too" by selling the NFL Ticket package.

Here is an AP article carried on a lot of websites: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id...fl-violated-antitrust-laws-sunday-ticket-case
The league maintained it had the right to sell "Sunday Ticket" under its antitrust exemption for broadcasting. The plaintiffs said that only covers over-the-air broadcasts and not pay TV.

Other professional sports leagues were also keeping an eye on this case since they also offer out-of-market packages. A major difference though is that MLB, the NBA and the NHL market their packages on multiple distributors and share in the revenue per subscriber instead of receiving an outright rights fee.

If you really want to get down into understanding why the NFL got an antitrust exemption from the Sherman Act, you can learn a lot from this American Bar Association article that incorporates the base antitrust exemption with the current lawsuit and analyzes how this could play out: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/entertainment_sports/publications/entertainment-sports-lawyer/esl-39-01-spring-23/the-nflamazon-agreement-vs-antitrust-legislation-future-the-national-football-league-ott-services/#:~:text=In the past, each NFL,all the participating football teams.
 
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sschind

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Thank for the input. Not really a 2 part lawsuit but two main points I took from it. The overcharging and the restricting competition.

Unless I am misunderstanding the concept of out of market games I still don't get the basis for the lawsuit. The way I see it the NFL took games that only certain people could see (people in the home markets) and made them available to pretty much everyone who was willing to pay the price. As far as overcharging yeah, it was probably more expensive than many people wanted to pay but the games belong to the league they should be able to distribute them as they see fit.

I wonder what prompted the guy to originally file suit. Did he not like the price? Was he not able to get the service? Did he not like it that others could now get to see the games so it cut down on his business?
 

El Guapo

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You should read the articles that I linked. They will answer all of your questions (including that it wasn't a guy that filed the suit, but a business).
 
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sschind

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As far as a business instead of a guy I'm guessing a guy owned the business. Still 1 plaintiff originally, at least according to the first article which I had read before you linked to it.

The second article raises about as many questions as it answers but it was informative. I guess bottom line is people don't want exclusive agreements between the NFL and individual companies such as Amazon or netflix or hulu or whoever it is where they would have to pay to watch certain games. I can understand that but I still see it as the NFL should be allowed to make contracts with whoever it wants. If it gets to the point where everyone has to pay to watch every game people will stop watching and the nfl will realize that it has screwed itself. I just can't see anyone being able to reasonably claim they have suffered any damage by not being able to watch a football game.

I don't think a 14 billion dollar fine will be good for the NFL or its fans.
 

Thirteen Below

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One question I have is this - we've recently seen the NFL pivot toward a new business model in which they will normalize the practice of streaming games on subscription networks like Peacock.

The camel's nose is barely under the tent flap at this stage, but we all know damned well that what they plan to do is run several games a year on streaming services who force you to sign up to their network in order to see that one game. And that when they do normalize it, there will be multiple games every season where fans either have to sign up for 10 or 20 bucks to a network, or not see their team play a very important game (even a playoff game) on national TV, as we have been able to do for decades and just assumed it would always be so.

I don't really have a very deep understanding of this lawsuit and its implications; I haven't studied it, and even when I do, I doubt I'll understand it as well as some of you guys do. There are some things I like to think I'm pretty smart about, but I know my limits, and this one is a little over my head.

How do the issues being raised in this lawsuit (and the likely consequences of it) relate to the "streaming service" scam? Will it make it less likely that the league will be able to keep doubling down on that, or will it perhaps clear the way for them to go even further with it? Do they both have much to do with the league's antitrust exemption?
 

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