NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

January 7, 2010 -

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case of American Needle v. NFL next week and perhaps give the NFL broader protection against antitrust lawsuits.

At the heart of the case is an exclusive deal that the NFL has with Reebok as the official seller of hats,. jerseys and clothes using team insignias. American Needle lost its right to sell those items when the league reached the deal with Reebok in 2000.

Where this impacts the videogame industry is the exclusive license that Electronic Arts has with the NFL as the sole purveyor of an NFL-branded videogame with the Madden NFL series. According to a Reuters article:

A broad ruling could insulate professional sports leagues from antitrust claims over video-game licenses, television rights, franchise relocation and even player salaries. Only Major League Baseball is exempt from antitrust laws now.

In the past, the court has kept a tight rein on antitrust suits, and legal analysts say that the mere fact that the court has agreed to hear the case means it could be sympathetic to the NFL's claims for broader protection.

The case for the NFL, according to brief it filed:

“A sports league produces a single entertainment product, a structured series of athletic competitions leading to a championship, that no member club could produce on its own."

However, American Needle countered with:

“The teams are separately owned and controlled profit- making enterprises. They are actual and potential competitors in numerous areas, including the licensing of intellectual property.”

Electronic Arts has come out on the side of the NFL for obvious reasons, and the antitrust protection for the NFL could ensure EA's deal from outside interference as long as the NFL sees fit to continue the contract.

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Comments

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

The only thing I have to say about any possibility of something messing up a license for EA:

 

Good fucking riddance.

Yes I have a WIP. Just wait and see.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Tghe teams need to ban togather and bully the NFL to allow them more rights over thier copy right, it should work both ways.... the teams should be allowed to do what they want(that dose not tarnish the brand) and give the NFL a 30% cut of profits....


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

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Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Did you read and understand the article, Zippy? If you did, why are you still coming up with this dumb crap? The teams are the NFL. It's the teams, in the form of their larger parent organization, the NFL, who are raping America Needle. The NFL raping the teams has nothing to do with what's going here.

You should try harder to follow the actual plot. And quit making up your own plot as a substitute.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Here's a thought EA,Reebok, and the NFL never went to Congress or The President and begged to be bailed out so the government has no say in any private business matters.

 

And if the courts do decide against the NFL on the I hope the very next hour MLB has to follow the same rules.

 

Fact is Madden did drop in quality but Take 2K Games MLB2K series also dropped when they secured an exclusive contract.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

You mean that laws don't apply to business that doesn't get any money from the state? Because the laws are the only part of the government involved in this matter.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

I didn't know about MLB's exemption from antitrust regulations, but I think it's outrageous. No single organization or business type should get to enjoy such a privilege, nor should antitrust rules be dropped altogether. If your business model is incompatible with antitrust laws then you shouldn't be in business.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Exempting a business from antitrust regulation isn't usually rationalized on the premise that its business model is incompatible with the regulatory effort. Rather, the more common rationale is that the business, as a matter of fact, can never have any natural competitors and, therefore, subjecting it to anitcompetitive regulation not only serves no useful purpose but also could indeed harm consumers (e.g., passed-down costs resulting from having the business satisfy a purposeless regulatory scheme). I'm not saying that the NFL satisfies the requirement of being without competitors. I'm just saying. 

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Which is exactly what's been happening with the health-don't-care industry. They were granted this status, and people are suffering for it. I mean, Baseball is one thing, as you won't risk dying if you can't afford a baseball game trip.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Be it NFL merchandise, games, or any other exclusive rights deals for merchandise of any type, i have only one comment. If you don't like it, excersize your right as a consumer by NOT BUYING IT.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

The ruling in this case, if in favor of the NFL and other sports leagues (MLB, NCAA) could have very large and very severe affects well beyond just exclusives for video games.

 
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MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
 

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