According to a report in SportsBusinessDaily, EA has been given some relief related to the 2011 NFL licensing contract. According to the publication, the NFL gave the company a break because of the chaos caused by stalled negotiations with players. Because of this, the 2011 season will start late. If the NFL cannot come to some kind of an agreement before March 4, it will lead to a "work stoppage," which will in turn delay the start of the season.
Despite the chaos of a delayed football season, Madden NFL 12 will still ship in August for various platforms.
SBD claims that the NFL "significantly reduced" EA's contractual obligations for next season and added a year to the deal. This is according to what SBD calls "several well-placed sources." The contract now runs through 2013.
GameIndustry.biz, citing reports in the Wall Street Journal, says that EA asked the NFL for a $30 million reduction in its licensing fees because of the chaos.
"For one of our core partners in a difficult environment, we say let's look at this, and maybe it makes some sense to extend something out longer and give our partner some relief in the short term but gain something on the back end," said Wayne Weaver, chairman of the NFL's business ventures committee.
We will let you know how all this plays out.