Fans Prepare to Sue NFL and DirecTV Over Blackouts
Another class action suit is around the corner for the NFL and DirecTV. Football fan Thomas Abrahamian filed a proposed complaint in a California federal court on Wednesday for a class action suit alleging that the NFL and DirecTV have violated Sherman anti-trust laws.
NFL coverage is currently set up in the form of a ‘blackout coverage’ system. What this means is games will be broadcasted on a regional basis. If a person is outside of a particular game’s ‘broadcast region,’ they will be unable to view that game. Consumers may watch games from other ‘regions’ only by purchasing the “NFL Sunday Ticket,” the sole distributor of which, according to the lawsuit, is DirecTV. Some believe that this practice wrongfully shields regional television networks from competition.
This comes shortly after the preliminary approval of a settlement in similar cases with the NHL and MLB. As part of the NHL settlement, fans would be provided with the option to purchase team-specific subscription packages. The district judge in that case described the arrangement as “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the certified class’s best interests.”