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NFL Players Score A Victory, But Lockout is Still Looming

By Jason Beahm on March 09, 2011 5:46 AM

The NFL will not receive TV broadcast fees if games are not played next season. A District Court judge has overruled the earlier decision that had ruled in favor of the NFL.

Turns out, the union was correct in its argument that the NFL intentionally sacrificed long-term profits, which they have an obligation to both maximize and share with the NFL players union, U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled, the Los Angeles Times reports. The NFL made its decision in order to ensure a guaranteed revenue stream even if there is a lockout.

Judge Doty plans to hold a hearing to determine broadcast fees damages and whether to issue an injunction.

While it's a victory for the NFL players, it is still a small one. The NFL is still in a better position than the players union and it looks more and more likely that there will be a lockout as mediation winds down. There is quite a lot at stake, a cool $9 billion in annual revenues, Business Insider reports.

"We didn't file this lawsuit to try to get an advantage over the owners and the league ... We tried to restore the balance ... so the league and the owners wouldn't be able to take advantage of this $4-billion war chest that they characterized as a weapon," said Latham & Watkins attorney Tom Heiden.

So what's next? The broadcast fees and labor dispute still has a long way to go. It does appear that a lockout is going to happen, but we won't know if the season will be lost until August begins to approach.

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