Alphabet Inc.-owned tech conglomerate Google is facing a federal lawsuit over its deal with the NFL for exclusive broadcast rights for the “NFL Sunday Ticket” beginning this year.
A lawyer representing residential and commercial business subscribers of Sunday Ticket filed the lawsuit in U.S. federal court in California this week.
Prior to YouTube TV winning the rights to Sunday Ticket, the broadcast package was held by DirecTV.
Lawyers have asked a judge to order Google to respond to a demand for information in the case against the NFL and DirecTV.
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The plaintiffs are seeking $6 billion in damages, claiming the league, its teams and DirecTV worked together in an effort to reduce the availability of televised football games while allegedly boosting Sunday Ticket’s price.
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Sunday Ticket gives subscribers access to out-of-market NFL games that would otherwise be unavailable.
Google isn’t a party in the long-running antitrust litigation, which is set for trial in early 2024.
However, the plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that Google is unfairly withholding information that could be used to prosecute claims against both the NFL and DirecTV.
The NFL has previously denied the plaintiffs’ claims about pricing, saying the league’s exclusive distribution deal was “presumptively legal,” according to a report from Reuters.
The plaintiffs want to see information on Google’s retail pricing and subscriber numbers. Attorneys for Google have said turning over that type of information would create a situation that is “unduly burdensome.”
Subscribers to the Sunday Ticket via YouTube TV will be able to stream games starting in September. Google’s exclusive broadcast rights deal runs through 2030.
According to the filing from the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Google has agreed to provide a total of three documents related to its Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs told Reuters that information “does not even scratch the surface” of relevant information in the litigation.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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