DINNER AT THE PALM? NFL OWNERS MEET IN NATION'S CAPITAL
NFL owners meet in Washington, DC, today and Wednesday
for their fall meetings. USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes writes
that among the issues being discussed will be the St. Louis
Convention and Visitors Commission's (CVC) $130M antitrust
suit against the league. Although the Rams "are not a
coplaintiff in the suit," they are entitled to $14M of any
settlement or 50% of any damages awarded. NFL
VP/Communications Joe Browne: "A large number of owners are
upset at the notion that the Rams may benefit even more than
they already have from their move to St. Louis." 49ers
President Carmen Policy: "We feel betrayed and embarrassed.
We're the ones who voted to permit the move" (USA TODAY,
10/14). In St. Louis, Bill McClellan wrote on the first
week of the trial: "The first quarter score is in, and the
NFL is ahead. Maybe way ahead" (POST-DISPATCH, 10/13).
TV TALK: Broncos Owner and NFL Broadcasting Committee
Chair Pat Bowlen is interviewed by Richard Sandomir of the
N.Y. TIMES on the NFL's next TV deal. Bowlen: "The ratings
don't matter. I really think they don't impact us at all."
Bowlen added that Fox must pay "more than a token increase"
above its $395M-a-year NFC package and hinted that Fox may
want more than the NFC package: "They'd like to add, take
your pick, cable or another broadcast package. They could
take a swipe at the whole thing on Sunday afternoon. I
don't know if that's in our best interest, but there's been
conversation about it" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/14). Cowboys Owner
Jerry Jones is interviewed by USA TODAY's Larry Weisman. On
the next TV package, Jones said, "I'm limited in what I can
say. ... I know it's going to be substantial" (USA TODAY,
10/14). In N.Y., Mike Freeman noted that some agents feel
the league's next TV deal will lead to a "doubling" of the
salary cap, bringing it to $70M from its current level of
$41M in four to five years (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12). The
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Stephen Battaglio wrote that "talk
continues to circulate in sports TV circles about a CBS
proposal for a new NFL package if it can't get an existing
one. One scenario has the network getting Saturday NFL
games each December -- following the conclusion of the
college football regular season -- two games on
Thanksgiving, and occasional Thursday night games that now
air on cable" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/13).
DECADE: On Sunday, NBC's Will McDonough reported that
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFLPA Exec Dir Gene
Upshaw "have been talking about extending the current" CBA,
"possibly to the year 2007" ("NFL on NBC," 10/12).