Labor deal tops agenda for NFL owners

A line judge on a football field with the NFL logo.

JEREMY HOBSON: Now to some labor meetings going on in Chicago today between the owners of professional football teams. The NFL is in the midst of the longest work stoppage in its history and if there's no deal soon football training camps could be affected.

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports.


JEFF TYLER: Last year, the NFL collected record revenues -- around $9 billion. The stand-off is about how that money is divvied up.

Paul Swangard runs a sports marketing program at the University of Oregon.

PAUL SWANGARD: The main sticking point is that billionaires and millionaires can't figure out how to share the billions that they generate from this sport.

By billionaires, he means the owners -- who want to limit players' compensation. Swangard says the owners have an incentive to procrastinate.

SWANGARD: The owners sort of feel that the longer this goes, the more leverage they may have because it's the pocket-books of these players that are ultimately going to be affected.

If the two sides can't reach a deal soon, the dispute could lead to a truncated season. One economic study calculated that a canceled 2011 season would cost about $5 billion in lost jobs, decreased spending at local businesses and reduced tax revenue.

And that doesn't include the billions of dollars in ticket sales and TV revenue.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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