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SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies
DINNER AT THE PALM? NFL OWNERS MEET IN NATION'S CAPITAL
Published October 14, 1997
NFL owners meet in Washington, DC, today and Wednesday for their fall meetings. USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes writes that among the issues being discussed will be the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust suit against the league. Although the Rams "are not a coplaintiff in the suit," they are entitled to $14M of any settlement or 50% of any damages awarded. NFL VP/Communications Joe Browne: "A large number of owners are upset at the notion that the Rams may benefit even more than they already have from their move to St. Louis." 49ers President Carmen Policy: "We feel betrayed and embarrassed. We're the ones who voted to permit the move" (USA TODAY, 10/14). In St. Louis, Bill McClellan wrote on the first week of the trial: "The first quarter score is in, and the NFL is ahead. Maybe way ahead" (POST-DISPATCH, 10/13). TV TALK: Broncos Owner and NFL Broadcasting Committee Chair Pat Bowlen is interviewed by Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES on the NFL's next TV deal. Bowlen: "The ratings don't matter. I really think they don't impact us at all." Bowlen added that Fox must pay "more than a token increase" above its $395M-a-year NFC package and hinted that Fox may want more than the NFC package: "They'd like to add, take your pick, cable or another broadcast package. They could take a swipe at the whole thing on Sunday afternoon. I don't know if that's in our best interest, but there's been conversation about it" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/14). Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is interviewed by USA TODAY's Larry Weisman. On the next TV package, Jones said, "I'm limited in what I can say. ... I know it's going to be substantial" (USA TODAY, 10/14). In N.Y., Mike Freeman noted that some agents feel the league's next TV deal will lead to a "doubling" of the salary cap, bringing it to $70M from its current level of $41M in four to five years (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Stephen Battaglio wrote that "talk continues to circulate in sports TV circles about a CBS proposal for a new NFL package if it can't get an existing one. One scenario has the network getting Saturday NFL games each December -- following the conclusion of the college football regular season -- two games on Thanksgiving, and occasional Thursday night games that now air on cable" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/13). DECADE: On Sunday, NBC's Will McDonough reported that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw "have been talking about extending the current" CBA, "possibly to the year 2007" ("NFL on NBC," 10/12).