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Football Fans, Sports Bars File Antitrust Suit Challenging NFL Broadcasting Agreement

Oct 19, 2015

The 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) have unlawfully agreed to eliminate competition among themselves in broadcasting NFL games, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court. Represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, bar owners and football fans from around the country seek an injunction to put an end to this anticompetitive arrangement and damages to compensate for the overcharges they have paid in purchasing access to live NFL broadcasts.

The lawsuit, filed on Oct. 16, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the NFL’s teams agreed to sell broadcasts only collectively, forgoing any effort to market their games individually. It alleges that CBS, Fox, ESPN, NBC, and DirecTV have facilitated and encouraged this agreement by, among other things, insisting that the agreement remain in place and paying more for the exclusivity it enables.

Langer Grogan & Diver and Co-counsel Cohen Milstein have successfully litigated cases against the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) for their own anticompetitive arrangements. Laumann v. NHL marked the first time American sports fans have been able to purchase their favorite team’s games without having to buy a bundle of the entire league’s games. Trilogy Holding LLC d/b/a Bounce Sporting Club et al. v. National Football League Inc., et al.