Buccaneers could be on the hook for a ton of money over NFL Sunday Ticket lawsuit

Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer might have to pay a hefty bill thanks to the NFL Sunday Ticket lawsuit ruling.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer might have to pay a hefty bill thanks to the NFL Sunday Ticket lawsuit ruling. / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

One of the biggest stories of the offseason is one the happened away from the field.

Earlier this summer a jury ruled against the FNL in a lawsuit filed on behalf of fans and businesses that were negatively impacted by the lack of competitive pricing for NFL Sunday Ticket between 2011 and 2022. Because there was only one package, the league controlled the pricing and could charge whatever it wanted. It was determined in court that this wasn't legal, and the league is now going to have to pay out a hefty sum of money to make up for it.

Initial figures on the loss awarded residential customers $4.7 billion in damages and another $95 million-plus to businesses (places like bars and restaurants that footed a Sunday Ticket bill each year).

On the surface this is a huge win for fans, who have been vindicated for years of railing against years of rising prices on Sunday Ticket and the lack of other options for viewing games. Someone has to pay for the damages, though, and that's going to be something that falls on the owners and teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Buccaneers might have to pay upwards of $450 million in NFL Sunday Ticket lawsuit

According to ESPN, which reviewed the lawsuit, the NFL could be hit with damages that triple under antitrust laws. If that happens, the Buccaneers along with every other team in the league would be on the hook for around $450 million.

"The jury awarded $4.7 billion in damages to the residential class and $96 million in damages to the commercial class. Since damages can be tripled under federal antitrust laws, the NFL could end up being liable for $14.39 billion. The lawsuit covered 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses in the United States who paid for the package of out-of-market games from the 2011 through 2022 seasons on DirecTV."

Yikes. At the same time, though, the NFL brought this upon itself by trying to get shady with fans so ultimately the Glazers and other owners have nobody but themselves to blame.

There's a ripple effect from this that is worth watching, however.

Fans deserve to get paid out what they're owed, but there's a flip side to that coin which could impact teams like Tampa Bay more than others. The Bucs aren't exactly a eager franchise when it comes to spending money, so it will be interesting to see how the eventual payout ends up impacting the ledger.

To be fair, the Bucs forked over plenty of money this offseason to re-sign Antoine Winfield Jr., Baker Mayfield, and Mike Evans, and didn't hestitate to sign Tom Brady a few offseasons ago. Historically the Bucs haven't loved spending money, or at the very least have been overly cautious thanks to some big swings and misses.

It could be that this lawsuit forces them to kick the can down the road on making any splashy additions, which might not end up being a bad thing if it means even more intentional decision-making by the front office.

Then again, this lawsuit might not impact the Bucs' spending at all. It's hard to see a potential $450 million bill and not get a little concerned, though.

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