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AP: NFL Owners And Players Agree To Deal

By | Monday July 25, 2011 @ 6:24am PDT

UPDATE, 11:45 AM: The NFL Players Association’s executive committee and all 32 team reps have voted to approve terms of the 10-year collective bargaining agreement, which has been signed. The league is expected to unlock the doors tomorrow, when trades and rookie signings can begin. Free agent signings can be filed Friday. Player certification of the new deal must be done by Aug. 4.
PREVIOUS BREAKING NEWS: The networks and cable channels (and hapless fans) can breathe easy because there’ll be a 2011-2012 football season for the Fall TV kickoff after all. AP says the National Football League team owners and players worked through the weekend and agreed early today to the terms of a deal to end the four-month lockout, the first since 1987. Players are expected to begin the voting process later today. Th NFL Players Association’s executive committee was to meet today to be presented with the finalized agreement.

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NFL Owners Approve Deal To End Lockout

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 4:36pm PDT

BREAKING NEWS: That sound you hear are the networks and cable channels (and fans) breathing a sigh of relief because now it looks like there will be football for the fall TV season after all. That is, if the players approve the new collective-bargaining agreement. Today the National Football League team owners approved a deal that could end the four-month lockout, the first since 1987, and allow the upcoming 2011-2012 season to proceed.

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Halftime: ‘Field Of Dreams 2 – Lockout’

By | Wednesday July 6, 2011 @ 5:38pm PDT

With Day 113 of the NFL lockout now in the books and both sides still negotiating but reporting little progress, maybe it’s time for a breather, courtesy of Funny Or Die. No word whether the humor site is in preproduction on a feature for the NBA lockout, but seeing as how that league is in a much uglier place with regard to a new collective bargaining agreement, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and their crew will have plenty of time to flesh out a script. Can Taylor Lautner dunk?

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NFL Wins Permanent Stay In Lockout Fight

By | Monday May 16, 2011 @ 5:09pm PDT

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals today granted a permanent stay to keep the NFL’s lockout of its players in place, saying it believed the league has proven it will suffer financial harm if players were allowed back to work. The court is the same one that granted a temporary stay of the order April 29, four days after a U.S. District Court judge in Minnesota ruled that the lockout be lifted. The lockout of players — which the league imposed after the collective bargaining agreement expired and labor talks broke down — began March 11, threatening the upcoming season and the lucrative TV contracts that are attached to it. (NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said Sunday that the network’s “worst-case scenario” is that the season will be delayed by a few weeks, but that it is prepping “high-quality, live-entertainment, reality-type shows” to fill the gap if it can’t air Sunday Night Football, the peacock network’s highest-rated show.)

Meanwhile, layers and owners have resumed court-ordered mediation over a new labor contract. The Associated Press reported that the sides met for at least seven hours Monday. But it seems clear now that the courts are going to be the place where the fate of the upcoming season will be decided, not the bargaining table. If so, don’t expect much until the next court date, on the validity of the lockout, set for June 3.

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NFL Lockout Resumes After Appeal; Fan Fatigue Evident In Lower NFL Draft Ratings

By | Friday April 29, 2011 @ 5:38pm PDT

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted the NFL’s request for a temporary stay on an injunction that lifted an owner-imposed lockout on players. That means the lockout is back on, just a couple of days after a Minneapolis judge’s decision had lifted it. Now the appeals court will review briefs by players and the league and could rule on a full stay sometime next week. Whatever happens, it’s clear the labor strife handcuffing the league and its players is having an impact on fans. On Thursday, ESPN’s coverage of the always-popular NFL Draft drew 6 million total viewers, 1.3 million fewer than 2010′s edition, Bloomberg said. The rating for the telecast that covered the draft’s first round was a 4.4, a 17% dip. Even players are confused: During last night’s broadcast on Sirius XM’s NFL Network, the Minnesota Vikings newly drafted quarterback, Florida State’s Christian Ponder, said he was heading to camp Friday. He probably showed up just in time to see the padlocks click shut on the Vikings’ facilities.

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Ruling Lifts NFL Lockout … For Now

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 3:20pm PDT

The NFL is expected to appeal the ruling, handed down today by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson, that grants players’ request for a preliminary injunction to lift an owner-imposed lockout that began March 11. Still, the judge has decided not to stay the decision, the NFL said, meaning the league might have to open its doors immediately, which it doesn’t want to do without resolutions to stalled labor talks, pending appeals and word from the National Labor Relations Board whether it will hear the league’s complaint about unfair labor practices by player reps.

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NFL Players, Owners Ordered To Start Federal Mediation

By | Monday April 11, 2011 @ 2:01pm PDT

The order today by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson does not mean a ruling on the players’ injunction to stop the owners’ lockout is coming anytime soon. But U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will meet with players tomorrow in Minneapolis and the league on Wednesday to get the lay of the land, then oversee formal talks beginning Thursday. The topic: a new collective bargaining agreement that would put an end to the month-long lockout and ensure there will be a next season. Players filed the injunction again the owner-imposed lockout after labor talks failed and the CBA expired March 11. The main issue remains how to divide $9 billion in annual league revenue, some of which comes from lucrative broadcast and cable TV contracts.

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UPDATE: No Ruling On NFL Lockout At Hearing; Judge Offers Federal Mediator

2ND UPDATE, 3:35 PM: A federal court said it could take weeks before it decides whether to grant an injunction sought by NFL players to stop a league-imposed lockout. That’s because the judge wants both sides to agree to federal mediation to help resolve an impasse in finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement, according to Bloomberg. “Both sides are at risk. This is a good time to come back to the table,” the judge said. “This is really a matter to be resolved, in my view, with the services of the federal court.” Today’s hearing in St. Paul lasted five hours. Read More »

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Sides In Their Own Huddles During NFL Lockout

By | Sunday March 20, 2011 @ 4:31pm PDT

Sure it’s technically not the NFL season, with the league almost two months removed from its Super Bowl XLV, which set a record for a U.S. broadcast when 111 million tuned in to watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. But there are still plenty of hits being leveled all around day by day thanks to the NFL lockout that began March 11, which threatens next season and all that momentum earned from one of the best-rated season to date.

The latest came Saturday, when players responded to an open letter from commissioner Roger Goodell, who said the league had met the NFL Players Association halfway in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement before that contract expired and triggered the lockout. Not only do the players strongly disagree, they don’t even want Goodell and other key league negotiators at the table if and when talks resume — not a good sign if you’re a fan, a network TV exec or DirecTV, which analysts say can lose as much as $600 million in revenue next season owing to lost subscribers to its NFL Sunday Ticket package. (Network rights-holders NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN most certainly would lose significant ad revenue with lesser replacement programming; ESPN might be more protected with other sports to offer, but a network like NBC, which rules Sunday evenings with its Sunday Night Football franchise, is more exposed.)

Goodell recently said he would drop his … Read More »

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