Why DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Might Be Illegal Under Antitrust Law

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Sports' started by Llama19, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Llama19

    Llama19 Registered User

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    To quote:

    "According to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday, the famed television package that millions of fans use to watch NFL games could be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    Antitrust law is designed to ensure that competing businesses—such as NFL franchises—actually compete, rather than conspire. This area of law also attempts to maximize “consumer welfare,” a term that refers to the benefits obtained by consumers when they’re able to acquire goods and services.

    The alleged antitrust problem with the Sunday Ticket—and, more broadly, with the NFL combining the broadcasting of games into bundled deals with NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN—is that it precludes individual NFL teams from competing with one another in the broadcasting of games to out-of-town markets. Fans can thus be deprived of the chance to watch out-of-market games on “free” TV channels, meaning their local NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates. Also, local affiliates and regional sports networks—as well as companies that pay for commercials to air on broadcasts—are denied the chance to bid for those games."

    Source: www.si.com/nfl/2019/08/14/nfl-sunday-ticket-directv-antitrust-violation-lawsuit
     
  2. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    I believe the NHL has already faced a class action over Center Ice and settled. I think it was filed around the same time as this suit so likely by the same law firms involved
     
  3. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley Registered User

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    Is DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket illegal? It could be

    Could have some significant impact with reversal of dismissal and going forward with litigation.
     
  4. Llama19

    Llama19 Registered User

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    Should be merged with this thread: Why DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Might Be Illegal Under Antitrust Law

    Thank you.
     
  5. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    No way this suit gets anywhere, IMO.
     
  6. David Dennison

    David Dennison I'm a tariff, man.

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    32 billionaires and a telecom vs the little guy, I wonder who will win.
     
  7. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    When DirecTV launched in 1994 they needed a hook and the NFL happily signed on.

    Before DirecTV sports bars were using C and K band satellite dishes to bring in out of town games but the NFL then demanded networks use fiber to transmit the backhaul and sports bars had no choice but to install the small dish.

    The NFL was bombarded by lawsuits from cable companies and in the end NFL Red Zone was offered.

    DirecTV plays hardball with commercial installations for Sunday Ticket while residential users can get it for next to nothing.
     
    DaveG likes this.
  8. Big Z Man 1990

    Big Z Man 1990 Registered User

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    Comcast might have something to say about this too.

    They own SNF broadcaster NBC and pay TV provider Xfinity.

    Comcast could say, "either make Sunday Ticket available to DirecTV's competitors, or we walk away from the NFL".

    NBC has played this kind of hardball before. In 1956, it threatened to pull its programming from the Westinghouse stations that carried it, if Westinghouse didn't swap its Philadelphia stations for NBC's Cleveland stations. Westinghouse finally agreed, but decided to turn the tables by complaining to authorities about NBC's hardball. A 9-year legal battle ended with the swap reversed.

    Times are different now, so I think NBC can get away with something like this today.
     
  9. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    The NBC deal became even more complicated in 1960

    upload_2019-9-26_23-12-8.png

    https://americanradiohistory.com/hd...BC-IDX/60-OCR/BC-1960-03-21-OCR-Page-0052.pdf

    NBC was livid at Group W over preemptions - for example The Tonight Show in Boston ran on the CBS affiliate as WBZ-TV carried Westinghouse programming in that time slot.
     
  10. Grudy0

    Grudy0 Registered User

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    Won't happen.

    And the answer is somewhat simple: Comcast, as a cable company has been complaining about the DirecTV-NFL Sunday Ticket exclusive for two decades to no avail.

    Meanwhile, Comcast was able to distribute what is now NBCSN Philadelphia by microwave in the mid-1990's, which allowed Comcast to deny carriage of the channel to DirecTV and Dish to this day. The take rates for satellite TV in the Philly region have always been substantially lower than the national average due to their exclusive.
     

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