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Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

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View Poll Results: The exclusivity deal will be:
Renewed 224 69.78%
NFL will see the errors of it's ways and rip it up 97 30.22%
Voters: 321. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-02-2010, 07:34 PM   #65
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

From everything Ive read on the matter our only hope rests in the NFLs' greed.Like others have posted,with the money EA paid upfront for the exclusive rights not balancing out with Madden sales,it would not seem cost effective for EA to renew the deal at the same price.

So if the NFL does not contract the exclusive rights deal at a lower price and no other gaming company is willing or able to pay the current price for the exclusive rights,I think the NFL would try to maximize it profits.The best way for the NFL to do that is to go back to the multiple company deals but increase what the NFL charges each company.Its easier to collect $400 million from 10 different companies than 1 company being on the hook for the full amount.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #66
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

It's incredibly frustrating when people who know nothing about the law make blanket statements of general applicability. I wrote this awhile ago but I re-post with additions in italics:

"The sole issue in the American Needle case is the trial courts finding, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmation, that the NFL and its 32 teams are a "single entity," ie. akin to a parent corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary. If found to be so, section 1 of the Sherman Act, which outlaws "every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy..." by definition cannot apply because for a section 1 violation there has to be two or more parties working in concert.

The lower courts found that EVERYTHING the NFL does (i.e. apparel licensing, intellectual propery licensing, etc.) is protected from scrutiny because it is a single entity. Hence, the NFL can NEVER be challenged under Section 1 Sherman Act for for its conduct because it is a single party.

By contrast, section 2 of the Sherman Act outlaws "monopolizing or attempting to monopolize" by a single entity. American Needle also brought a claim under section 2 (which was also rejected), however that issue is NOT going to be argued in front of the Supreme Court.

Thus, while the lower courts found the NFL is a single-entity meaning it can be charged under Section 2, they held that the NFL was NOT monopolizing. The reasoning is complex, but at its core the reasoning is that the NFL competes with ALL entertainment, not just other football products, and not just other sports. So the lower courts decided that people make the choice between seeing a music concert, for instance, or an NFL game.

No matter what you think about this, American Needle is NOT challenging this finding, so the Supreme Court can't decide the issue, as it can only hear issues specifically brought in front of it. Because American Needle is not bringing it, however, it can be assumed that they feel that this finding was not incorrect, either.

The last case the Supreme Court decided using the "single entity" theory was in 1984 (Copperweld Corp. v. Independence Tube Corp.). Since then, lower courts have stretched the "single entity" theory to various other business arrangements, ie. affiliated companies involved in joint ventures. The Supreme Court expressing an interest in this case is in all likelihood a signal that lower courts have gone too far in their findings, and the Supreme Court will clarify the doctrine.

Meaning that the Supreme Court feels that lower courts have granted "single entity" immunity from Section 1 violations to too many types of business arrangements.

I don't know how the Supreme Court will decide this particular case in relation to the NFL. What I do know, though, is that EVEN IF American Needle wins, the decision will ONLY be applicable to the licensing of apparel by the NFL. It will NOT mean that ALL exclusive deals the NFL has will automatically be considered a Sherman Act violation.

The reason for this is that I can guarantee that the Supreme Court will say that every business arrangement by the NFL (i.e. apparel licensing, intellectual property licensing, etc., which are DISTINCT things) will have to be looked at on a "case-by-case basis," and that certain supposedly monopolistic activities of the NFL will be allowed because the "NFL can only function as one source of economic power when collectively producing NFL football (The lower courts words)."

And my guess is that while the Supreme Court may found this justification NOT worthy in the apparel licensing context, I would venture to say that it carries MUCH more weight in a intellectual property licensing context.

So please stop talking like this American Needle case is some panacea. In a practical sense it is extremely important for the NFL and could effect its ability to collectively do business in the future. But it's not like if American Needle wins EA will automatically lose the license.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:48 PM   #67
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

*Edit - Sorry for the spelling errors, I'm studying for finals and I was typing fast.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #68
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

The NFL becoming 32 separate entities when it comes to licensing would be a bad thing anyways, big market teams will demand more money for their rights, you'd end up with 'Backbreaker: Lions v Browns' since that's all they'd be able to afford ... NFL based games with just a handful of teams, not to mention the next news story would be the top 15 teams locking up decade long exclusives with EA Sports.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:38 AM   #69
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Nacirema.Dream
*Edit - Sorry for the spelling errors, I'm studying for finals and I was typing fast.
Good post about the law pertaining to this area.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:36 AM   #70
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

I haven't read all the comments, so sorry if i'm repeating.

The exclusivity deal will prove to be a success whether its renewed or not. EA had to pay a premium to lock other game studios out of the NFL license, but it will result in a generation of gamers that will only think EA when they think of football games. Even with open competition it will take a huge financial investment from a rival company to even attempt to make a dent in Madden's market share.

I'm sure Madden sales have not increased the way EA anticipated, but you can't think copying documents without say Xerox. You can't blow your nose without saying Kleenex. Got a boo boo on your knee? you grab a "Band Aid".
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #71
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beastwork
I haven't read all the comments, so sorry if i'm repeating.

The exclusivity deal will prove to be a success whether its renewed or not. EA had to pay a premium to lock other game studios out of the NFL license, but it will result in a generation of gamers that will only think EA when they think of football games. Even with open competition it will take a huge financial investment from a rival company to even attempt to make a dent in Madden's market share.

I'm sure Madden sales have not increased the way EA anticipated, but you can't think copying documents without say Xerox. You can't blow your nose without saying Kleenex. Got a boo boo on your knee? you grab a "Band Aid".
You bring up a good point. EA has at least a six year head start on any game developer who wants to make a football game on these consoles. There is only one developer with a game that can compete with Madden on these consoles and that's because it was basically a port of ESPN 2k5.

Other developers lack the name recognition and/or can't get everything into their game that Madden has in it's game in a normal development cycle and following Backbreaker, I know how gamers react when things don't make the game on the first try.

It really doesn't matter what EA does, they are in good shape. I'm still betting they renew if they can.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:47 AM   #72
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Re: Realistically, do you see the NFL ending the exclusivity deal?

I hope the exclusivity deal ends. Not because I want to buy other companies NFL games, I'd probably still buy Madden, but just because I think the competition makes EA 10x better than having none. A lot of folks think that EA might not renew due to the expense involved and it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. Well guess what, they will if they can IMO because EA is a huge corporation and huge corporations tend to throw money at things to make if they make sense or not. What will happen is that the EA executives will be looking more at the possibility of a competitor giving Madden a difficult time (and let's be honest here, even though it's unlikely one doesn't have go back too far to see some games which did challenge Madden - Gameday comes to mind)...more than they will look at the expense involved.

In other words, EA will not blink at the price because they will be thinking more about the possibility of the price to be paid if they don't wrap up the exclusive deal and then some competitor comes along and challenges the cash cow. No my friends I don't think we'll see the end of this deal anytime soon so don't get your hopes up.
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