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NFL Fans Fight Back against DirecTV’s “Package Deal”

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Costa Mesa, CANFL fan Thomas Abrahamian has had enough of what is being described as the NFL/DirecTV’s “anti-competitive” and “collusive” agreements that force football aficionados to purchase overpriced NFL Sunday Ticket TV packages and buy access to games they don’t want to see.
“There are hundreds of thousands of fans that think the same way,” says Costa Mesa, California attorney Abbas Kazerounian.


“It means if you support a team that is not in your local area, you can’t watch it for free so you have to buy it from NFL/DirecTV,” explains Kazerounian.

“So let’s say you are a New England Patriots fan and you live in Orange County, California,” says Kazerounian. “You can’t watch all the Patriots games on Sunday or other days unless the team happens to be playing in Orange County. So, in order to watch all the Patriots games, you have to buy the entire package, meaning you have to buy every single NFL game even if you don’t want to watch those games.

“I use this analogy,” says Kazerounian.

“You want to buy some cheddar cheese at the supermarket - but they won’t let you buy just the cheddar cheese. What they do is put in a package with some Havarti, some mozzarella, some feta, and some goat cheese. They make you buy $200 worth of cheese when you really only wanted to buy $25 worth of cheese because you only like cheddar,” he says.

“It’s really the same situation with DirecTV and the NFL,” he argues.

Kazerounian, from the Kazerouni Law Group, APC, has filed a class action against the NFL and DirecTV on behalf of Abrahamian and similarly situated individuals.

It alleges that the two are engaging in an unfair and anti-competitive practice that, as the documents describe, “cause fans to pay for more games than they want and that sports leagues are using their monopoly power to effectuate a huge wealth transfer.”

That “huge wealth transfer” is coming from the pockets of fans.

An NFL Sunday Ticket sells, exclusively through DirecTV, for $251.94 for the season.

The suit argues that because the league is the only source of such programming, it is able to engage in “monopoly pricing” and “limit the choices to consumers,” with the inevitable consequence of higher costs to consumers, a lower quality product and less choice.

The class-action lawsuit seeks damages for eligible class members and also wants the NFL and DirecTV to be prohibited from engaging in their current practice.

Charges have not been proven in court.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
You also have to be a Direct TV customer and shell out over $100.00 a month just to have the right to pay for the NFL Sunday Ticket. We have finally cut the chord with this awful company. I hope that there is something that can be done to prevent a single provider from monopolizing an entire American sport and then using that to justify their outrageous pricing. Disgusted!

Posted by

on
Yes, direct NFL package promises every game but last Sunday we were not able to get the Lions game as it was on our local channel which Direct has dropped..... so much for every game. Another Lie.. am looking for alternative tv options now - not paying this much money for promises broken.

Posted by

on
As both Tracie and Matt stated on October 14, I too had DIRECTV give me the NFL package for free for a year and then charge me monthly without my authorization. Apparently you must call and cancel even when I didn't order it in the first place! They won't refund my money. This is deceptive and a fraud!

Posted by

on
Last year, every Patriots game was broadcast on either fox or
cbs. This year 2 games have not been broadcast even though
our newspaper says it was scheduled on cbs. Instead they
show a Eagles game. To get this Patriots game I would have to
pay DirecTV 49.00. Isn't this blackmail? DirecTV obviously is
conspiring with whoever controls the local progamming to change
the game. Who can I call to complain. I tried DirecTV - forget it.
Can you help?
A patriots fan.

Posted by

on
Whenever a local station chooses to broadcast a game, that game is not available on the Direct TV dedicated channels (704 and up). So, while that game is available on a another channel that I also pay for, I'm still paying for the Sunday Ticket, in other words, I'm being double charged. On several occasions, the network has chosen to terminate the broadcast of a game as the one team has a large lead and the network has chosen another game to broadcast. Again the original game was not broadcast on Sunday Ticket. This appears to me to be a breach of contract. Also, there are times when an early game runs beyond the anticipated time frame and the second game has already started but is not broadcast on Sunday Ticket. Again, breach of contract. No refunds offered.

Posted by

on
States on Direct TV's website
"...see every single minute of every single game on your TV with the NFL Sunday Ticket...." Bought it...no Packer's game yesterday and not "Rosie" or "Christian" or "Britt" in outer Mongolia could explain it.

Doesn't the NFL & Direct TV have enough $? So tired of the fans taking it up the ......

Posted by

on
We have had DTV overcharge us for our services. We talked to make your reps in April to get everything but the base package taken off our account. We were promised no NFL Sunday would be charged to us this year bc we did not want it. They are charging us for it and won't take it off of our account even though it was supposed to be taken off back in april. They now say they could not have cancelled it back then and we are responsible for it. And they won't let us out of our contract even though they agreed on a certain price every month until our contract is up. Now they have broken their contract by charging us for something we cancelled months ago.

Posted by

on
What I'm most angry about is how DTV deceptively renewed NFL Season Ticket and I wasn't even aware of this. They had given it to me the first year free for signing up with them. Now when I try to cancel it they will not refund my money. Talked to four customer "service" reps last night and none of them would refund it. This is the second time DTV has tried to strong arm me. Back in 2010 when I cancelled my service they tried to hit me with a huge cancellation fee that I eventually got waived by emailing some really high up person in the company.

Posted by

on
Only need and want Chicago teams (live in TN). Was able to buy Cubs games only from MLB by streaming. Should be able to do same with NFL, NBA and NHL.

Posted by

on
All we want is NFL red zone which with Comcast was $10 per month. Now for that one channel our only option is to purchase the NFL MAX ticket for $60/mo? This is outrageous and extremely dissatisfying. Done with cable providers and their antics.

Posted by

on
It isn't the price I have as much issue with, it is the idea that I have to have DirecTV. direcTV doesn't just make money from selling the package but also from those who subscribe to DirecTV in order to get the Sunday Ticket.

Though I do believe the exclusivity of the product allows fro prices to be set artificially high. Especially for commercial establishments.

Posted by

on
I bought NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2015 season because I am a Green Bay Packers fan and I live in OH. They require that you agree to buy a full season of access with no possibility of refund if not satisfied. I agreed because it was the only option I had to watch the games. Well I found out, after I paid, that their definition of out of market games includes games that local stations bought rights to air, regardless of whether or not the local team is playing the game. Big difference from all out of market games. No where on the site did they define out of market so that the purchaser knew their warped definition of out of market. That resulted in only 3 games for the entire season available through NFL Sunday ticket. All other games were either carried (not aired) locally or were evening games. Therefore not available on NFL Sunday Ticket. I could have bought tickets and driven to Green Bay for games for that price. Total Rip off. I also found out later about edigital which carries all games for $45 a year. Never again buying anything offered by Direct TV.

Posted by

on
I don't mind paying for the NFL Sunday ticket so much, what I don't like and will now cancel is the fact I have to have a base package of something I do not want in order to get a service I do want.. It is not right,they are taking advantage of the monopoly situation in every way they can.. It's criminal

Posted by

on
I don't agree with Richard, I pay ~$49/year and see every MLB game for my favorite team. I am a fan of 1 team and do not feel that I should have to pay for every game for the "privilege" of seeing my favorite team!

Do you realize how much more the NFL would pick up from people like me who will NEVER pay $250 for a package that I will not make use of?

There are a lot of people out there who do not signup for the NFL Ticket solely because of the exorbitant yearly price of admission.

Posted by

on
I am tired of hearing how everyone wants free sh*t! Get over it and pay for what you enjoy doing. You should see how much it costs for businesses! For example Buffalo Wild Wings pays over $10,000 per location as the cost of NFL Sunday Ticket is based on occupancy. If you don't want to pay the $250/year for something you really enjoy then don't pay it and watch the local team. I however, enjoy watching all the games as most have a direct impact on the team I am watching.

Posted by

on
Nothing but a big rip off to the real fan. I was sold a package with a two year contract to Sunday Ticket with DirectTV.After the first year they changed my service and said they wouldn't honor what was sold me and they increased my rates as well. As soon as my contract ends, they can have their package. One unhappy camper in Maryland

Posted by

on
NFL fans will be the losers just like NHL and MLB fans have been. They will get the "privilege" of paying 80-90% of the cost of the full package to get one team and then only for "out-of-market" games.

DIRECTV will see a jump in subscriptions to the streaming service with no drop in the full package subscriptions, which takes pressure off their satellites and puts it on the cable providers infrastructure and they will laugh all the way to the bank. They have wanted to be able to do this for years, but have been required contractually to not provide ala carte services. DIRECTV is loving it.

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