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NFL's Plan To Reap $25B By '27 Depends On Lucrative Media Rights Deals
Published January 31, 2014
A TAXING ISSUE: A DENVER POST editorial notes U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is "pushing a bill to strip professional sports organizations" of their tax-exempt status, "calling it a loophole" that amounts to about $10M in lost revenue annually and up to $109M over 10 years. The editorial: "We think Coburn's bill makes sense -- not because tax-exempt status is preposterous on its face but because of the NFL's bloated front-office salaries." The NFL represents 32 teams, which "make billions of dollars on ticket sales, TV contracts, etc." That money "is taxable," but the league office that is not-for-profit "earns its money not from lucrative TV deals but through its membership dues -- which accounted for just over a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue" in '12. That money "pays for league office salaries, rent and officiating." The "hitch in the NFL's defense of this structure is those salaries," as compensation for "eight top executives alone totaled" $57M in '12. Those "sky-high salaries legitimize Coburn's reform effort" (DENVER POST, 1/31).