SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

OPEN L.A. MARKET SEEMS TO HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON NFL TV TALKS

          The NFL securing a $17.6B TV rights deal without
     committing a team to L.A. was examined by Randy Harvey of
     the L.A. TIMES.  Harvey wrote that the L.A. factor "wasn't
     one, even for the two networks that do extensive business
     here, Fox and Disney."  Harvey: "When it comes to acquiring
     an NFL franchise, it's clearer than ever that it's a
     seller's market.  If [L.A.] is interested in buying, it must
     do a better job of selling itself to the NFL" (L.A. TIMES,
     1/15).  NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "The league
     carefully and consistently avoided telling the networks
     whether an L.A. team would be in the AFC or NFC.  There are
     no guarantees for an L.A. team."  Fox COO Chase Carey: "From
     our position, it's a positive to have a team in L.A.  But in
     this process, there are too many uncertainties and it didn't
     come into an account" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/16). 
          MORE NFL FALLOUT: NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay quotes one
     network "spy" who described dealing with the NFL owners who
     led the NFL TV committee: "These were the hawks, not the
     doves.  They won.  It was like they were wearing masks and
     carrying Uzis" (NEWSDAY, 1/16)...In Toronto, Sun Media Corp.
     President Paul Godfrey said that despite the fact the deal
     will likely increase the cost for an expansion team, "I'll
     continue to knock on their door and ask for a membership
     card" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/16)....In Atlanta, Terence Moore
     writes with the NFL's new riches, the Smith family should
     "take the money and run" and sell the Falcons.  Moore: "If
     you're the Smiths ... you sell" (ATL. CONSTITUTION, 1/16).
          REAX: A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial: "The NFL has become
     the ultimate loss-leader for the networks in their attempt
     to reach male viewers.  These insane bidding wars were, on
     balance, a negative for viewers.  First of all, the networks
     are dumping massive resources into rights to existing
     programming instead of developing fresh fare. ... The only
     clear winners in the war over NFL rights are the owners and
     athletes who will share the bounty" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/16). 
     Under the header, "Breaking Point For Sports?," a SALT LAKE
     TRIBUNE editorial states, "Maybe in the next eight years,
     people won't watch as many NFL games, and advertisers won't
     pay so much to the networks, and the networks will be left
     drowning in red ink as a result of this week's unbelievable
     contracts.  Maybe this is when Americans will reach their
     saturation point and the golden sports egg will finally
     crack" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/16).  In DC, Thomas Boswell:
     "The next time an NFL team raises its tickets by a penny,
     there'll be outrage.  And there should be. ... And what will
     happen the next time an NFL team begs for tax money to build
     a luxury stadium ... The vote on that referendum ought to be
     1,000,000 to 0" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/16).

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