(Reuters) – The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to listen to a bid from the National Football League and AT&T Inc.'s DirecTV unit to avoid a proposed class action lawsuit accusing them of overloading a popular satellite tv package.
The NFL and DirecTV had asked the judges to overturn a lower court ruling from 2019 that revived the complaint for "Sunday Ticket" subscribers, their package that lets NFL fans watch "out-of-market" games is not broadcast on their local TV markets for $ 294 per season.
The Supreme Court's action means that the trial can proceed. Its action may increase the likelihood of a settlement that would partially replace the subscribers.
A number of lawsuits, filed in 201
Judge O & # 39; Connell, who died the same year, ruled that the agreements did not reduce the production of games available to the public. She also noted that DirecTV had to renegotiate its licensing agreement with the NFL every two years, so competitors had the opportunity to compete for television rights.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco revived the case in 2019, finding that attorneys for the subscribers had probably made the case that if there were no agreement, there would be a stronger market for game broadcasts and many more broadcasts would be made available. .
Lawyers for the NFL and DirecTV claimed that the disputes "seek to repeal existing NFL football events that have served the NFL's hundreds of millions of fans for over 25 years.