March 4, 2011

Television Revenues on the Side of the NFL

Filed under: Sports Law — Giorgio Varlaro @ 3:55 am

Supplied via Google Images

With the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring on Thursday, it seems as if the Players Union and owners aren’t even close to a deal. One of the reasons as argued in court last week by the Players Union was the fact that the league has $4 billion in television revenue to finance its operations in the event of a lockout.

The fact that the owners have money to rely on gives them a distinct advantage over the players. Once the current collective bargaining agreement ends on Thursday, players will not receive salaries, medical care and other services provided by the league. Some players obviously have endorsements, but that group is very small. With owners receiving some type of revenue without their main product, it gives them an advantage in being able to wait out the players for a deal they like, which includes a rookie salary cap, more sharing of revenue with the players, and an 18 game schedule.

The N.F.L. Players Association said that the league has long planned for a lockout and extended the television contracts to guarantee income if games were not played. That could be so, but Gregg Levy, a lawyer for the N.F.L., said the television revenue was actually a loan that must be repaid with interest if games are not played.

To determine if the N.F.L. is practicing illegally against the players is United States District Court Judge David Doty. Doty wanted to make a decision on the case last Friday, but hesitated to rule quickly because he hoped that labor negotiations between the N.F.L. and the union might make the case moot.

Which side do you believe? The players or the owners. Do you feel that Judge Doty felt this case was too big for the courts to decide? Can an agreement be sought out before Thursday’s deadline? Was the old collective bargaining agreement really that bad of a deal for the owners?



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