SBD/22/Leagues Governing Bodies

NFL OWNERS, PLAYERS TO EXTEND CBA AT LEAGUE MEETINGS?

     In an arrangement that "would be unprecedented in sports,"
the NFL's owners and players will "try to extend the present
collective bargaining agreement for at least three more years,"
according to Will McDonough in Sunday's BOSTON GLOBE.  McDonough
cites a "source at the highest levels" who reports that "the
people involved realize it would be a great thing for both sides
if they can get it done now.  [NFL Commissioner Paul] Tagliabue
and [NFLPA Exec Dir Gene] Upshaw have been talking and their
discussions have been very positive.  They both realize it is
very important to the financial health of the league to get an
extension before TV discussions on new network contracts come up
again."  McDonough writes that both sides realize that extending
the CBA beyond its present expiration in '99 will increase
revenues when TV negotiations resume after the current network
deals end in '97.  Under that scenario, the league "will get much
bigger numbers on a new TV contract if the networks are
guaranteed that there will be no work stoppages."  McDonough
reports that the owners will want to "close the loopholes" that
exist in the present salary cap and eliminate the current
agreement that the '99 season will not have a salary cap.
However, McDonough reports that "to agree to that the players
will want a bigger share of the revenue" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/22).
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