Tag:David Doty
Posted on: March 10, 2011 12:13 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:18 am

Union asks Doty to unseal records in TV case

Posted by Will Brinson

Last week, Judge David Doty in Minnesota dropped a pretty big bombshell on the NFL, ruling that the league couldn't use nearly $4 billion in "lockout insurance" stemming from television contracts.

Doty's descriptive language in his ruling drew quite a bit of attention, particularly the part about DirecTV having to pay more if there was a work stoppage in 2011 than if there wasn't. And now the NFLPA has filed a motion to have Doty unseal the evidence and testimony from the proceedings in the broadcast revenues case.

"The NFL cannot be permitted to comment publicly about these proceedings and then turn around to embrace a cloak of confidentiality that thwarts the public’s right to know," union lawyers wrote in the memorandum. "The NFL Bears the burden of showing the need to keep the underlying record sealed. Despite the opportunity, no such showing has been made."

In its motion, the NFLPA also argued that the league hasn't explained why the records are sealed and is refusing to cooperate with the union's attempts to redact certain portions of the records in order to protect "third-party information" as it relates to broadcast partners.

NFL Labor

Clearly, this is an attempt to ramp up the public pressure on ownership as the deadline for mediation closes, but the NFL doesn't seem to be taking the bait immediately.

"We will respond to that filing in due course," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press.

At some point, it seems likely that the NFL's records (financial, legal or otherwise) will see the light of day. And that'll likely either be voluntary or through the stage of legal discovery.

But with the sports-watching world genuinely concerned as to whether or not football will get played in 2011, withholding information that could lead to a settlement of the labor issues isn't doing the NFL any public relations favors.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 12:00 pm

Hot Routes 3.4.11: Baby laughing makes me laugh

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • If you’re bored (and it IS noon on a Friday afternoon, after all) and you need to kill time while waiting to see what happens with the labor negotiations, Foxsports.com has the drinking game for you. If you participate, though, you’ll probably have to hit up the local liquor store. Unless you’re the kind of person who has both Cristal AND Schlitz at your home. In which case, you’re kind of awesome.
  • An interesting look by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel at one of the most important power players in the labor negotiations: Judge David Doty.
  • Retiring Patriots G Stephen Neal thought there was a chance he could play next season. But he also knew if he injured himself again, he might be putting himself in real danger. So, he retired.
  • I’m sorry, this has nothing to do with football, but man, it’s always awesome watching a baby hysterically laugh uncontrollably. And if the labor negotiations go bad today, you can keep replaying this video. It will make you feel better. Seriously, this video is the best thing I’ve seen all week.

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 11:59 pm

Another reason owners might be screwed

Jerry Jones has a big mortgage payment on his new stadium. Posted by Pete Prisco

You pay your mortgage, right?

It's easier to do with money coming in, right? Now imagine you're an NFL owner with a huge mortgage on a stadium you helped finance. That owner pays the mortgage on that debt, just like you.

That's why the ruling Tuesday that NFL owners can't have access to the $4 billion in television revenue they were expecting if there's a lockout next season is huge.

District Judge David Doty, who has been a thorn in the league's side in the past with other rulings, overruled special master Stephen Burbank in declaring the league couldn't have access to the TV money next season.

The reason that ruling is a big is because many of the big-power owners, men like Jerry Jones (Cowboys), Bob Kraft (Patriots), John Mara (Giants) and Woody Johnson (Jets), have big debt service on their stadiums.

They have monster mortgage payments.

Without that money, it becomes tough to pay those notes.

The NFL will appeal the ruling to a higher court, but for now this is big win for the players and maybe a big hit for the fans.

A survey of a handful of players showed them to think this was important for their push.

Without that money, you can bet the owners will want a quicker resolution to these talks.

The lockout insurance -- the TV money -- was a bullet in their gun.

Now they have more empty chambers than they thought.

This entry was cross-posted from Pete Prisco's Prisco's Points. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:03 pm

Man, the NFL really comes off poorly here

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Let’s explore a little more into the decision made by U.S. District Judge David Doty and why he ruled the NFL had violated the CBA by entering into a deal with the networks that would pay the owners $4 billion next season even in the event of a lockout.

As the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand points out, the networks seemingly didn’t want to go along with the NFL’s idea to create a war chest that would be, for lack of a better term, lockout insurance in case there was a work stoppage.

Even though the networks didn’t want anything to do with it, that didn’t matter.

As Ourand writes, FOX didn’t want to pay during a work stoppage, but the NFL said the provision was a deal-breaker.* NBC believed it was getting “hosed,” so the NFL gave the network one additional game for the 2010-2013 seasons. The NFL also told ESPN a digital deal and the lockout provision were tied together.

*It can be scary just how powerful the NFL perceives itself. And is perceived.

But the craziest portion is the NFL’s deal with DirecTV.

From Doty’s ruling: "NFL's DirecTV contract provides that DirecTV will pay a substantial fee if the 2011 season is not canceled (and will pay) up to nine percent more, at the NFL’s discretion, if the 2011 season is canceled. In the event of a canceled season, 42 percent of the fee is non-refundable and the remainder would be credited to the following season.

Forty-two percent is non-refundable? For real?

More from Doty: "Typical work- stoppage provisions (in TV deals) anticipate a strike by players, not a work stoppage created by the NFL itself."

Not only did the NFL lose this decision to keep the $4 billion (for now, anyway), but it’ll be interesting to see how badly it suffers from the NFL fans' perception of this new informations. At this point, it’s really, really hard not to believe the owners were planning for a lockout, and that they knew they would profit mightily off it. In fact, it appears that the owners would have been better off if the 2011 season was lost altogether.

It’s almost hard to believe.*

*And if it is too hard to believe, here’s the complete ruling.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 1, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 8:25 pm

District judge rules NFL can't keep network money

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In yet another twist to the labor dispute, the NFL owners took a back-hand from U.S. District Judge David Doty today when he overruled special master Stephen Burbank and said the league could not have access to the TV network money for next season.

Doty ruled that Burbank had made several mistakes in his ruling from last month in which he said the NFL hadn’t violated the CBA with its “lockout insurance” deal with the networks, which would still pay the league about $4 billion even if there are missed games in 2011.

Instead, Doty said the league had breached the CBA and ordered a hearing to determine the damages accrued by the NFLPA. Doty also could – and probably will – keep that $4 billion from the owners if a lockout occurs. All along, the NFLPA has asked that the amount be kept in escrow.

Wrote Doty in his ruling: "The court overrules the special master's findings as to the NFL's breach of the SSA relating to its contracts with DirecTV, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN, and holds that the NFL breached the SSA as to those contracts.”

Here’s the NFL’s statement, via Greg Aiello: "As we have frequently said, our clubs are prepared for any contingency, this decision included. Today's ruling will have no effect on our efforts to negotiate a new, balanced labor agreement."

Doty has ruled on NFL labor disputes for the past two decades, and the owners desperately want him off the case, because they think he’s pro-union. Today’s ruling certainly won’t change that opinion, but if Doty’s ruling forces the owners to get serious about negotiating, knowing they won’t get that TV money and knowing they've lost a measurable amount of leverage, NFL fans will love him forever.

Look for the owners to appeal the decision, but make no mistake: this is a sizable victory for the union.

And the NFLPA's statement: "This ruling means there is irrefutable evidence that owners had a premeditated plan to lockout players and fans for more than two years. The players want to play football. That is the only goal we are focused on."

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