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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Patriots fan in California files class action against NFL over blacking out games

By Shaun Zinck | Jun 30, 2015

Attorney abbas kazerounian
Attorney Abbas Kazerounian is representing a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the NFL claiming the league unlawfully limits the broadcasting of its teams to certain regional areas. | KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - The National Football League is being sued in federal court over allegations that the league violated the law by blacking out games that are considered out of market for consumers.

Thomas Abrahamian filed the lawsuit on June 17 in United States District Court in California against the NFL, claiming the league violated antitrust laws by blacking out games.

Abrahamian, who lives in California, said his favorite team is the New England Patriots. However, in order for him to watch the games he must subscribe to the satellite television company DirecTV. The suit claims the league allows the owners of the clubs to enter into business agreements to broadcast the games.

“In so doing, the owners act in their own economic self-interest, including entering into a series of agreements that eliminate, restrict, and prevent off-field competition,” the lawsuit said. “In exchange for being granted anticompetitive protections in its own home market, the team and its partners expressly agree not to compete in the other teams’ exclusive territories. The stated purpose of these policies is to create regional monopolies that protect the partners from competition in their respective local areas.”

The only way Abrahamian can watch the “out-of-market” games is with DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket, which he claims cost “supra-competitive prices.”

He is seeking class status in the case, and is also seeking an unspecified amount in damages. He is represented by Abbas Kazerounian of Kazerouni Law Group, APC, in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Joshua B. Swigart of Hyde & Swigart in San Diego.

United States District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:15-cv-04606.

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