If you haven’t heard, the NFL is in court regarding the Sunday Ticket these days. Outside of Mike Florio and ProFootballTalk, there hasn’t been much reporting on the matter.

However, the ramifications and fallout from this lawsuit could greatly affect Miami Dolphins fans and all football fans.

You’re probably wondering what this lawsuit is all about, and oddly enough, it’s been going on for around ten years. Back in 2015, Mucky Duck Sports Bar in San Francisco filed a lawsuit claiming the NFL violated antitrust laws restricting competition so they could protect their cushy deals with FOX and CBS for your 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon games.

This is a class action lawsuit representing 2.5 million individuals and bar owners. They seek to recover $7.1 billion in damages that may be tripled to over $21 billion when all is said and done.

The backstory of this lawsuit is fascinating; in June 2017, a US District Court dismissed the lawsuit and ruled in favor of the NFL, stating that the NFL did not reduce the output of NFL games and, even though DirecTV charged an inflated price, that it did not harm any competition.

Fast forward two years to 2019, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case.

Then, in February 2023, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that the case could proceed as a class action lawsuit. The NFL tried again in January of this year to have the class-action lawsuit dropped, but Gutierrez rejected that motion, and here we are today.

The current ongoing lawsuit began in early June and is expected to last 3-4 weeks, so we should have a decision soon, in the next week or two.

The core of this lawsuit is that the plaintiffs are arguing that the NFL made the cost of the Sunday Ticket very high to cash in on hardcore and desperate football fans willing to pay whatever to see their own teams. Sports Bars also needed the service to get customers in the door of their establishment every Sunday in the fall and winter months.

The plaintiffs also claim that by making Sunday Ticket exclusive to DirectTV, which had only 13 million subscribers and required a satellite dish, they purposely limited the number of potential customers.

So, I know what you’re asking right now. How does this tie into the Miami Dolphins and Dolphins fans?

Let me tell you.

If the NFL loses this lawsuit—and thus far, the reports from what is taking place in that courtroom suggest that it doesn’t look good for the NFL right now—it may change the way the Sunday Ticket works moving forward and how football fans view games.

So, if you’re a Dolphins fan in Ohio who doesn’t want to pay upward of $400 for the NFL Sunday Ticket to get all the games but may want to buy only Dolphins games, your dreams may be coming true.

So, if you’re a Dolphins fan who has to work every other Sunday, but on those Sundays, you are home in the afternoon and want to order specific Miami Dolphins games on a game-by-game basis, your dreams may be coming true.

The days of having to buy the entire NFL Sunday Ticket and getting All of the games (even the games you won’t watch and don’t want) could be coming to an end.

Why may the NFL lose this case? The evidence doesn’t paint the league in a good light.

When the plaintiffs’ lawyer made her opening argument, she showed a 2020 Term Sheet by FOX SPORTS to the NFL, “demanding” the NFL ensure the price for the Sunday Ticket is above $293.96.

Then, when the Sunday Ticket was leaving DirecTV and was up for bid, APPLE TV wanted to provide the Sunday Ticket for FREE (yes, FREE) if you subscribed to their Apple TV Platform.

ESPN wanted to offer it at a $70 price point if you subscribed to ESPN+, and they wanted to offer a package where you could pay for an individual team package.

The NFL rejected both offers and went with YouTube TV and had YouTube TV ensure the starting price point was at a certain level to make the package a “Premium Service” and to keep its broadcast partners CBS and FOX happy.

You see, CBS and FOX pay billions of dollars to air games on your local channels, and they want people to watch NFL games on your local channels. If the Sunday Ticket is priced so cheap that fewer people are watching NFL games on your Local CBS and Local FOX, then those packages aren’t worth what the networks paid for. And the NFL is about making money and keeping their two biggest broadcast partners (CBS and FOX) happy.

But if the NFL loses this lawsuit, it may turn everything we know about the Sunday Ticket on its head.

Of course, if the NFL loses the lawsuit, there will be an appeal. And that process may drag out over a year or more.

So, I wouldn’t expect any sudden changes to how the NFL Sunday Ticket works. But in 2026 or 2027, it could be a whole new ball game.

And if you are a displaced Miami Dolphins fan who doesn’t live in South Florida, it may benefit you.