NFL PA denies deal with EA

After a well-respected sports-industry magazine reports that the sports-licensing deal of the century is in the works, NFLPA reps say the story has been retracted.

Two weeks ago The Sports Business Journal, one of the most respected trade journals of the athletic entertainment business, revealed the identity of Madden NFL 2005 cover athlete Ray Lewis several days before EA Sports announced it.

The May 3 issue of the Journal contained a story with the headline “EA set to pay Players Inc. $1 billion.” According to the article, Electronic Arts is in final negotiations with Players Inc., the NFL Players Association marketing arm, to exclusively license all NFL player rights for the next four years. The Journal set the price tag of the deal at $250 million each year, which EA would pay Players Inc.; in other words, a literal billion-dollar contract.

When contacted by GameSpot, NFLPA executives said that not only was the story false, but The Sports Business Journal has since run a retraction. EA representatives also later contacted GameSpot to confirm the retraction, a fact that will undoubtedly make fans of the ESPN NFL franchise breathe much easier.

News source: Gamespot


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