On Thursday, word leaked that ESPN would pay the NFL almost $2 billion per year for the television rights to Monday Night Football. Win, win, win, right?
Eh, maybe not. There’s that whole labor negotiation thing, and one of the major arguments coming out of the owners camp is that they aren’t making enough money. It gets harder to make that case when the Worldwide Leader hands over a 40-percent increase in fees.
“It’s a good news/bad news situation for the owners,” said one insider told the New York Post. “The owners are crying poor and it’s going to strengthen the Players Association’s stance that the owners aren’t as bad off as they say they are. “The owners are, in essence, demanding that the players take an 18-percent pay cut across the board. For them to turn around and get this [money], they definitely don’t come off looking good in this.”
The deal is good news for the players, who get 60 percent of the fees. But there are a lot of players and not a lot of owners. A lot of 40 percent is much more than a little of 60 percent. Bob Kraft can cry poor all he wants, but it will fall upon deaf ears.
Enjoy these playoffs, ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to be awhile before you see NFL uniforms again.