SBD/Issue 150/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Goodell, Kraft Discuss Comcast Negotiations, Economy, Rookie Pay

Goodell Discusses NFL Network, Economy
Rookie Pay Scale During CNBC Appearance
On the eve of this weekend's NFL Draft, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots Owner Robert Kraft appeared in studio on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to discuss several issues around the league. Goodell said of the ongoing negotiations with Comcast over NFL Network, "Our deal expires in a week and we're working feverishly to try to continue our relationship with Comcast because we want to be available to the widest possible audience and that's our dispute with Comcast." Kraft serves as NFL Broadcasting Committee Chair, and CNBC's Carl Quintanilla asked him, "Is that going to work out?" Kraft: "I hope so. We have a lot of fans that want to see this." Goodell also discussed the impact of the economy on the NFL, and noted 24 teams "did not change their ticket prices going into this season, and the remaining eight teams really had modest increases in certain categories." Goodell: "We've been very sensitive to this issue. ... I'm sure we're going to have pockets where we're going to have challenges, either because of local economic factors or because of team performance. ... We have to recognize what our fans are going through and we have to be sensitive to that, and our clubs have." Meanwhile, Goodell said of a proposed rookie wage scale, "The rookie pool is something that we have to speak to our players association about and have to negotiate collectively. But just this weekend we'll have in the first round alone, we'll commit $600(M) to our first round draft choices this weekend, $400(M) of that will be guaranteed money. So it's significant expenses that we have to pay to players that have not yet proven themselves on the NFL field." Goodell noted the first pick in the draft could earn $30M in guaranteed money. Kraft: "I think Roger's put his finger on something that's a real inefficiency in the system. We'd much rather see that money go to our proven veterans" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 4/23).

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