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EA renegotiates NFL license

Another exclusive year secured, and 2010 fee reportedly reduced

EA has secured 2011 rights to the exclusive NFL license and allegedly been granted relief in its fees for this year's license, following player disputes which place the next season of American football in doubt.

A work stoppage is believed likely if the NFL cannot reach an agreement with its players before March 4. As such, its licensing contract with EA has been rethought, reports SportsBusinessDaily, apparently reducing "contractual obligations" for the troubled upcoming season but promising an additional year.

EA has previously seen competition for the NFL license from 2K, but has held the exclusive rights since 2005.

Commented Wayne Weaver, chairman of the NFL's business ventures committee, "For one of our core partners in a difficult environment, we say let's look at this, and maybe it makes some sense to extend something out longer and give our partner some relief in the short term but gain something on the back end."

An earlier Wall Street Journal report offered unconfirmed claims that EA had requested a $30 million reduction in its licensing fees because of the turbulence.

EA is believed to pay between $30 and 40 million per year for the rights to use NFL team names, logos and colours; this is apparently the NFL's most valuable contract outside of TV.

Madden NFL 12 is still scheduled for August, despite the possible strikes.

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Latest comments (5)

Private Industry 5 years ago
Wonder if they get the money back if the season does not go ahead or if they can just change that into the 2012 season license.
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Jack Molloy Studying BTEC Level 3 Art and Media In Games Developemt, Derby College5 years ago
EA make so much money i don't really think it would matter to them, Personally not playing Madden games it doesn't bother me.
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Private Industry 5 years ago
I think they still have a negative balance and lose money that would even more the case without a Madden game.
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Show all comments (5)
EA makes money, yes, but they've been losing more money as each year passes. The contract is good for them in the sense that it's cheaper, but you cannot plan your fiscal year when one of your biggest franchises is in doubt for the year. It's all a business, make the most you can cheaply.
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Joakim Månsson Senior texture Artist, Ubisoft Massive5 years ago
A shame sinve NFL2K was a game that generated buzz and greatness. And superb presenatation. Exclusives will always be bad for gamers.
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