The FCC’s repeal of its Sports Blackout Rules was merely grandstanding and has no tangible effect. However, it does signal a public recognition that the four major sports leagues –primarily the NFL because it benefits the most from blackout – no longer need a government crutch to operate and remain profitable. The only way real progress could be made on this issue is if Congress repealed the antitrust immunity granted to home blackouts. Then and only then would the NFL and its broadcast partners alter the current blackout policy in order to avoid the black cloud of treble damages an antitrust suit brought by fans, bars, local networks, and advertisers alike would bring.Read More »
Much has been written about the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, including calls for Roger Goodell to resign or be fired. But few if any articles have taken the time to explain what exactly happened and what could happen from a legal standpoint. The vast majority of the conversation about the suspension has focused on righteous finger-wagging at the NFL, Roger Goodell, and the Ravens. While each of those parties deserves their fair share of scorn, there is an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward that is being missed.Read More »
It has been a busy couple of weeks in the world of sports law. The Sports Esquires rounds up the top stories in sports law as part of our effort to keep you informed about all that is happening behind the scenes of your favorite leagues and teams.Read More »
The Curious Case of Ed O’Bannon: How the NCAA Managed to Lose Almost Every Point in the Landmark Case and Still Avoid Having to Make Any Sweeping Changes.
On Friday, August 8, the first decision in a wave of litigation against the NCAA hit the shores. The decision by Judge Claudia Wilken of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is both important and intriguing. The decision is the first time in major litigation that a court has not given deference to the NCAA’s commitment to amateurism when those regulations seem to conflict with antitrust laws. The decision has been hailed by many as “the death of amateurism;” however, a close analysis will show that statement to be a minor exaggeration. In reality, it will merely force the NCAA to make better and more reasoned arguments for what it does.Read More »
The Super Bowl is on Sunday. It always has been, and it always will? Every year there is a new push to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday. But so far, no such luck. I want to offer up a second possibility. Host the Super Bowl on Saturday. Think about it. No work the next day means no worrying about “over-consumption” (at least not from a hangover standpoint, you should never drink and drive), and no worrying about getting to bed on time.Read More »