SBJ/September 5-11, 2011/In Depth

Other issues to watch this NFL season

Los Angeles isn’t the only issue left on the NFL’s plate with labor finally concluded. Below are quick looks at some of them:

In-game experience: The league continues to worry about fans choosing to stay home and watch games on elaborate in-home entertainment systems rather than go to a stadium. Blackouts ticked up last year, so whether that trend continues will bear watching.

HGH testing: The league and union have been at loggerheads over how to implement HGH testing as called for in the new CBA. It’s unclear whether a protocol will be in place in time for Thursday’s season-opening game.

Commissioner’s authority: Players continue to rankle under the personal conduct powers used by the commissioner. The recent five-game suspension of rookie Terrelle Pryor, which appears as if the league was punishing him for bad acts in college, was not well-received in locker rooms. Will the union start to appeal these moves?

NFL Network: While the network has made strides with distribution and is now in 58 million homes, breaking down the doors at Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are next on the to-do list to boost carriage.

International: Will the league continue to play regular-season games in London or move to a different market? And does Toronto, instead of seeking more than just one game from the Buffalo Bills, instead go after the entire team?

Debt: The league clamped down on team debt preparing for the lockout. With that in the rearview mirror, will restrictions be loosened?

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