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SBD/February 25, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Judge David Doty Hears Arguments In NFL TV Rights Fees Case
Published February 25, 2011
TRYING NOT TO SHIFT THE POWER: In Minneapolis, James Walsh reports Doty “seemed leery of doing anything that would shift the balance of power to one side or the other while negotiations on a new [CBA] are ongoing.” Doty said to union attorneys, “It appears that what you would like the court to do is put its thumb on the scales.” Kessler replied, “We think their violations put their thumb on the scales” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/25). Also in Minneapolis, Mark Craig notes Doty “made it clear in his closing statements that he will expedite his decision.” He has been “considered a favorable judge for the union since his role in the case that produced the NFL’s current free agency system in 1993” (STARTRIBUNE.com, 2/24).
RUNNING UNDERNEATH THE RADAR: SI.com’s Jim Trotter wrote it is “disappointing Thursday’s three-hour hearing hasn’t gotten more play because it carries more impact than any discussions taking place in Washington.” The owners have “argued that the TV extensions are important because they’ll enable teams to manage their debt service during a work stoppage.” Should Doty rule against the league, some owners “might have a hard time meeting their financial obligations during a lengthy lockout.” The players would be in a “tough spot if Doty ruled against them because, contrary to popular perception, this is not a battle of billionaires versus millionaires” (SI.com, 2/24).