Jan 25, 2007

Pray We Never See 24-7 Dallas Cowboys TV

There's a good story today about the renewed challenge against the NFL's broadcast antitrust exemption, spurred on by baseball's move to negotiate an exclusive contract with DirecTV. It could eventually lead to NFL teams negotiating their own TV rights, which would have huge effects on the league. From Football Outsiders:

There’s a larger issue in play which has politicians jumping into the fray. In early December of last year, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said he would introduce legislation in the next session aimed at eliminating the NFL’s freedom from antitrust laws over how NFL Sunday Ticket is only available via DirecTV. If you’re scratching your head saying, “I thought only MLB had an antitrust exemption,” you’re not alone. Specter’s bill would repeal the NFL’s antitrust exemption under the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. Currently, the NFL negotiates the broadcast rights for all of its 32 teams. Specter’s bill would repeal that ability and set up a scenario in which teams would negotiate television deals separately. If it were to become law, wave bye-bye to one of the strongest methods for creating parity in the NFL: centralized television revenues.

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