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Owners would be wise to address revenue sharing

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Amid reports of resistance from some owners to the path on which the current labor negotiations is heading, there’s a school of thought that the root of the potential rancor is revenue sharing.

It’s an issue that comes up only within the confines of collective bargaining.  Five years ago, at the behest of deceased NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw (pictured), the NFL crafted a system for sharing unshared revenues in conjunction with the conversion of the player-pay formula from one based on partial football revenues to one based on all football revenues.  This time around, the players haven’t pushed for any specific commitments, even though Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth wisely has observed that the owners hope to solve their differences in that regard by taking back as much money from the players as possible.

It’s possible that the players haven’t pushed the issue because they know that it would make it harder to strike a deal.  Still, if the NFL plans (as it should) to abandon its plan to squeeze the players into taking the kind of a deal that would make revenue sharing irrelevant, a long-term solution to revenue sharing will be needed.  Without one, it could be just as hard to do a labor deal.

So why not address revenue sharing now?  We’ve got a feeling that fixing that one issue would make it a lot easier to address any of the challenges still lingering between the NFL and the players.

Sure, it may be easier said than done.  But we’ll never know if the owners don’t try.

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33 Responses to “Owners would be wise to address revenue sharing”
  1. bobulated says: Jun 20, 2011 2:35 PM

    Small market teams need to do more to generate revenue otherwise sharing TV money and gate receipts is enough. If you want your dad’s name on the stadium, fine, but don’t cry that you deserve more money from other teams deals. And if you move your team from the biggest market in America to a city on a river in the Midwest for a shiny new stadium, you also pretty much deserve whatever leavings you get.

  2. jonscoit says: Jun 20, 2011 2:44 PM

    Has it really taken this long to get to the actual point of these negotiations? The same issue drove the 2006 CBA negotiations as well. The NFL’s cartel is disintegrating for the same reasons that cartels always disintegrate: some members come to believe they have more to gain by competition with cartel members than by simply controlling the market. bobulated states the problem (and Jerry Jones’ perspective on it) nicely in his comment. I suspect Jones believes the Cowboys would make just as much money if they played the Washington Generals every week. He may be right.

  3. djstat says: Jun 20, 2011 2:53 PM

    The game is at its best when the big revune clubs realize that having small successful clubs be equally as competitive. No one cares about baseball because we are all tired of the same teams winning because they can outspend one another.

    Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder are greedy people. They don’t seem to remember that Wellington Mara could have gotten even richer had he not agreed to share new york revenue with the rest of the league. At the same time, Jones and Snyder have a right to hate the guts of a Mike Brown because he takes there money, spends as little as possible and keeps his daddy’s name on the stadium. Revenue sharing eeds to be fair for all involved. For the better of the game the Snyders and Jones of the world need to share the pie and the Mike Browns of the league need to do their part in raising revenue for themselves so they do not have to mooch as much.

  4. marty2019 says: Jun 20, 2011 2:58 PM

    The reason the NFL has become more popular than any other sports league in the US is because it has always been a level playing field where teams succeed or fail based on their skill in player acquisition, player development, and coaching. Every team has a chance, because no one team can be like the Yankees and just buy all the good players.

    It worked for many many years, and made the league very popular, but now owners like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder want to be able to buy championships, because they somehow think that their huge revenues mean that they are better businessmen, and therefore they deserve to be able to buy the best players.

  5. harmcityhomer says: Jun 20, 2011 3:04 PM

    I kind of hope the big and small market NFL teams split into an A and B type sytem where the best B replaces the worst A, and they actually compete more than cooperate. Euro futball style system.

    I do not really care about every team sharing all the money. You could argue that the attempts at parity have led to mediocrity.

    My problem with MLB, is not that my O’s are terrible, it is that they are the Generals playing the Globetrotters every year. If they could play vs other mid market teams most of the time, they would be much more interesting to follow.

  6. willycents says: Jun 20, 2011 3:14 PM

    Just to toss a rotten thought out here; suppose, after all is done, the details are finalized, signed and all. The NFLPA* sends a re-ceritification letter to the NLRB, and the NLRB refuses to re-certify the union? Or, waits six months to rule on the request? Then what? the deal means nothing because there is no union to vote on it, right?

  7. willycents says: Jun 20, 2011 3:15 PM

    add to above^^^^
    Remember, we are dealing with a goventment abency here, speed is not what they are noted for.

  8. east96st says: Jun 20, 2011 3:18 PM

    If a corporation, and the NFL is one, is going to continue to grow and prosper, there has to be recognition that keeping a TV funded entertainment division (and that’s what each team REALLY is) in a small market city is a losing proposition. If the corporation is determined to to swim against the tide of population shifts and simple supply and demand, than those teams have to fully subsidized. Either move the small market teams to cities that have the wealth to pay top dollar for PSLs, luxury suites, VIP parking, high end food, etc. or share all the cash so they can survive. Nothing against Green Bay, but no matter how fanatic their fans, there just isn’t the wealth there to compete with NY and Dallas nor the eyes to drive ad revenue.

  9. iplaybingowitholdpeopleandwin says: Jun 20, 2011 3:21 PM

    @Bobulated, I think what you’re trying to say is that owners who move their team from a large market to a small market shouldn’t stick their hand out looking for more money. If that’s what you’re saying, and it sounds like you’re talking about the Rams, that’s understandable.

    However there are a number of small market teams including from Buffalo, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Jacksonville. Apart from bonehead managerial decisions, revenue sharing is what has made the league and these teams competitive. Revenue sharing has also sparked further interest in the sport because there are no flat out dominant teams. Put another way, there are no NY Yankees or Red Sox type teams in the NFL — teams that can throw money at the best player on the market and stay dominant at the expense of small market teams, eg the KC Royals.

    Revenue sharing isn’t the problem. The NFL’s biggest problem is twofold. First, bonehead owners like Mike Brown, Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones. Guys who invest too little in fielding a good team, over pay for subpar talent/NFLderly players or have egos the size of their home state so that they spend $1 billion on a new stadium. Second, the absence of rookie wage scale. There’s no reason someone should get a multi-year deal based on potential/perceived value/draft slot. Reward the guys who’ve shown they deserve it not some youngster who thinks they’re the hottest thing since the sun. Paying rookies the old way is an untenable business model — that’s like paying some college grad $200K over 5 years, with $90K of it guaranteed. If they suck you’re stuck with paying someone to sit on their hands and play solitaire instead of getting someone who can do a fine job for what you’re paying.

  10. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jun 20, 2011 3:30 PM

    I think the owners and player should be talking face to face 12 to 16 hours a day 7 days a week till this is resolved. Starting at 08:00 tomorrow in Chicago while the owner meeting.
    GET THIS DONE AND GET IT DONE NOW!!!!!!!

  11. andrewfbrowne says: Jun 20, 2011 3:31 PM

    It is difficult to say we will share less than 80% of revenue, but expect you to pay players on 100% of the revenue.

    To be truly fair, the salary cap should be based only on shared revenue. Because Washington, Dallas and New England so far outpace the rest of the league in revenue it skews the numbers and forcing teams who are at the bottom of the revenue pie (Detroit, San Fran, Oakland, St. Louis, J-Ville and Buffalo) to look to the only place they can to cut costs and that is the players salaries.

    This whole thing since the very beginning of the lockout has been about this and nothing else.

  12. marty2019 says: Jun 20, 2011 3:40 PM

    I don’t think revenue sharing will be as big of an issue if they institute a rookie wage scale. The salaries paid to top-10 picks are so out of proportion to the value of the player that if a small market team picks a player in the top 10, and that player is a bust, the small market team is financially crippled.

  13. jcg23 says: Jun 20, 2011 3:44 PM

    Dumb asses, Jerry Jones was one of the people that helped start this. You seem to think it’s always been like this. Salary Cap et al. Was pushed by JJ.

  14. bobulated says: Jun 20, 2011 3:48 PM

    @ iplay I agree with most of your statement and, yes, I was talking about the Rams. That being said, Jax ownership knew the market they were getting; a very similar demographic to Atlanta with a large transplant base who follow other teams and a VERY established college FB base to compete for $ and eyeballs with. I give the Bills credit for tapping into the Toronto market but once again, if Ralph wants his name on the stadium, he shouldn’t ask for that money from teams that sell their rights. As for your other two examples I feel GB pulls in plenty of cash as they are a historically popular franchise that has many non-Wisconsin based fans. The biggest reason NO has lost money is because for 90% of their history they have been awful on and off the field not just their shrinking market.

  15. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 20, 2011 3:48 PM

    Dan Snyder tries/tried to buy a championship every year, anyway. Well, he did until Bruce and Mike showed and took the keys away.

    I’d argue there’s more parity in baseball. Baseball has not had a back-to-back since the 2000 Yankees. And those teams didn’t have the highest payroll.

    The Pats, Colts, Steelers, Ravens, and Jets are ALWAYS the top 4 or 5 teams in the AFC. There’s more parity in the NFC, though.

    There’s so much talent in American pro sports now that these leagues are borderline mediocre. The SF Giants rode 3 very good pitchers to a championship. Their offense wasn’t even that good or productive.

    The right mix of talent and chemistry will always win. Once the teams with money figure this out, then we’ll have a real problem.

  16. hodag54501 says: Jun 20, 2011 4:12 PM

    I’m always amused by the large market fans who think all the small market teams need to do is be smarter and things will be great.

    Go ask Major League Baseball. Or the NBA to a lesser degree.

    Revenue sharing is the key reason the NFL is as good as it is. Instead of watching New York play New England for the AFC title every year(yawn) you get to see a team from Indianapolis slug it out.
    Next year Kansas City and Detroit could be in the playoff mix. Think that would happen if all the big market teams kept all their money?
    What the problem is is owners like Jerry Jones forgot what the old time owners realized decades ago: if the smaller market teams are competitive, there’s more interest across the nation.

    The Super Bowl champ this year is a good example of why revenue sharing works. No one is getting poor at the New York or Dallas franchises, yet a city with 100 thousand residents can win it all.

  17. robf2010 says: Jun 20, 2011 4:27 PM

    They would be wiser to leave revenue sharing alone. There is no way to equalize it. You’ve got guys like Dan Snyder, Paul Allen, and Jerry Jones, all self-made, who will always have a different view of their team than those like the Maras, Browns, Rooneys, and Hunts, who inherited theirs.

  18. melonnhead says: Jun 20, 2011 4:34 PM

    I suspect Jones believes the Cowboys would make just as much money if they played the Washington Generals every week. He may be right.

    ——————————————————

    On the flip side, how would you like to watch the Bengals play the Bills every week?

  19. melonnhead says: Jun 20, 2011 4:37 PM

    For the better of the game the Snyders and Jones of the world need to share the pie and the Mike Browns of the league need to do their part in raising revenue for themselves so they do not have to mooch as much.

    ——————————————————-

    Jones and Snyder have been sharing the pie. The only people you mention that aren’t doing as you ask are the Mike Browns. They say that they are. Therein lies the problem.

  20. melonnhead says: Jun 20, 2011 4:37 PM

    I’m always amused by the large market fans who think all the small market teams need to do is be smarter and things will be great.

    Go ask Major League Baseball. Or the NBA to a lesser degree.

    —————————————————–

    Or you could just ask the Packers.

  21. melonnhead says: Jun 20, 2011 4:42 PM

    Revenue sharing isn’t the problem. The NFL’s biggest problem is twofold. First, bonehead owners like Mike Brown, Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones. Guys who invest too little in fielding a good team

    ——————————————————

    Haha, seriously? Snyder and Jones don’t spend enough? Wow. Those two guys probably spend more than any other owners. Whether they spend it wisely or not is another issue.

  22. SpartaChris says: Jun 20, 2011 4:58 PM

    harmcityhomer says:
    Jun 20, 2011 3:04 PM
    I kind of hope the big and small market NFL teams split into an A and B type sytem where the best B replaces the worst A, and they actually compete more than cooperate. Euro futball style system.

    I do not really care about every team sharing all the money. You could argue that the attempts at parity have led to mediocrity.

    My problem with MLB, is not that my O’s are terrible, it is that they are the Generals playing the Globetrotters every year. If they could play vs other mid market teams most of the time, they would be much more interesting to follow.
    ====================================
    Your O’s have no shot to win because they can’t spend enough on player salaries to draw the big talent like New York, Philly and Boston can.

    And therein lies the problem with baseball. And professional soccer in the European leagues. I do not want my favorite professional football team to simply become a farm league for Dallas, Washington, New England or the Jets. I love that any given season means that every team has a chance to compete for a title. If that model goes away, football won’t be worth watching.

    And tiered competition is crap. I want my team to be the best of everyone, not the best of some second or third tier.

  23. SpartaChris says: Jun 20, 2011 5:05 PM

    So I just had a great post that got deleted. I *LOVE* the inconsistent moderation here. Idiots.

    Anyway, to sum it up, some of you need an education. While Green Bay might be a small city, it generates a pretty substantial amount of revenue. In 2009 it was ranked 6th in revenue generated, while larger market teams like Atlanta, San Franciso and Oakland ranked significantly worse (25, 27, and 31, respectively.)

    That tells me the issue isn’t so much the size of the city, but what the owners do with what they have. So the right solution is a simple one, and no one has been able to convince me it won’t work:

    Share ONLY the LEAGUE GENERATED revenue. Base the salary cap and floor on this number, and this number only. Then let teams keeps anything they generate above and beyond.

    It’s a win-win for everyone. It would allow Jones and Snyder and Kraft to create as much revenue for themselves as they like without altering the salary caps and floors of the Browns, Bills or Vikings. And it maintains competitive integrity, since neither Jones, Snyder or Kraft will be able to use any of that extra money for player salaries.

    Win-win.

  24. southmo says: Jun 20, 2011 5:17 PM

    Seriously, how do you people know the motivations of Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder? Because of some media portrayal or because they make lots of money? What is this? A bunch of sports guys who hang on every TMZ report? And believe it?

    Never seen so much assumption and gossip coming from guys before.

    If it turns out Jerry or Daniel vote for the new CBA, is anyone here going to eat crow and admit ol Jerry and Daniel might not be as much greedy -as they are good businessmen?

    Yeah, didn’t think so. People magazine subscribers.

  25. harmcityhomer says: Jun 20, 2011 5:23 PM

    More people watched Man U vs Barcelona than watched the SB. There are haves and have nots, but they do not have to play eachother all the time.

    I would prefer football stay the way it was, but do not think it is great because of the buisiness model. Football is football.

    I would not really care what they do in MLB to create parity, it would still be baseball, and not very interesting to me.

    College ball has very little parity and I still watch a lot of that, and enjoy Auburn vs Oregon or OU vs Texas more than watching my Terps play UVA, but watch it all. it is what it is and it does not bother me that my team has no shot at a national championship and would be lucky to win an ACC title.

    Life is not fair, why should football try to be?

    Also how much parity is there really under the old system? The Ohio teams never really have an equal chance to win a SB even getting 125M in TV money, a top 10 draft slot and restrictions on free agency that lets them keep draft picks for 4-6 years.

  26. vikescry1 says: Jun 20, 2011 5:30 PM

    @(east96st) So you think they should end profit sharing and move all small market teams to larger markets? REALLY??? What would football be like if the Packers, Steelers, and Bills were to move to a different city? have you ever went to a game in any of these 3 citie’s? I didn’t think so. Think about the history that would be lost? Packers and Bears, Steeler’s and Ravens, 2 of the biggest rivalry’s would be gone? Profit sharing is the only way the NFL will stay the way it is, without it, it will become just like baseball within a few years. Now with that being said when the Packers won the Superbowl and they made a lot of money they should have to share that as well. What’s fare is fare. Think before you type.

  27. gorilladunk says: Jun 20, 2011 5:37 PM

    It’s always Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder and Robert Kraft who are the problem. Let’s say you and I work for the same company and are paid the same salary but I bring in 3 times more sales than you. Should we be paid the same? Hardly. Jones, for example, has approx 10 people who work in promotions and merchandising. Many teams have less than 3. Why should Jerry Jones sit back and have to give that to Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown, or Wayne Weaver? It’s called corporate welfare and provides exactly NO incentive for those organizations who put forth no effort. It was easy for Well Mara to take the high road in the early sixties. There weren’t t-shirts, hats and everything else to be marketed to the public. Those items basically didn’t exist, to any large measure. The dollars generated by “stuff” is enormous and if the Pats bust their asses to sell millions of shirts and coffee mugs, they deserve a portion of their pie. It shouldn’t be diverted to Tenessee, Carolina or western New York where those owners, whose idea of marketing is “we’ll take a cut of the Skins, Jets and Bears t-shirt sales”, sit around and do nothing. Remember two things: 1) you gotta spend money to make money and 2) the Cowboys were for sale 22 years ago and anyone with enough coin could have purchased the team. Wayne Weaver and Jerry Richardson included.

  28. georgeanderson2 says: Jun 20, 2011 6:11 PM

    The owners are doing everything they can to eliminate general admission seats by converting or adding premium seating. Premium seating is not shared revenue.

    Pretty sure also that all non traditional revenue events are not shared with any other owners.

    Too bad the UFL is so poorly run, because I am ready for another league to compete with the current NFL owners dollars. At what point do they stop trying for every cent?

  29. SpartaChris says: Jun 20, 2011 6:30 PM

    harmcityhomer says:
    Jun 20, 2011 5:23 PM
    More people watched Man U vs Barcelona than watched the SB. There are haves and have nots, but they do not have to play eachother all the time.
    ================================
    Maybe worldwide ratings, since soccer isn’t that popular here in the United States. However, that’s an apples to oranges comparison.

    A quick google search for man u vs barcelona tv viewership led me to discover viewership in the United States for that matchup was 4.2 Million viewers. While that might be a US record for soccer viewership, the American TV Viewership record was just broken by Super Bowl XLV, with a whopping 111 Million viewers.

    Simple math: 111 Million > 4.2 Million.

    Soccer is simply irrelevant and inferior here in the United States, and I doubt that will ever change.

    As for Ohio teams not being able to compete, it has nothing to do with location and everything to do with their piss-poor management. Any team in any given season can win the championship in football. It’s what makes it exciting. Automatically conceding a chance to compete for a championship just because you’re not one of the big four seems a poor way to operate a league.

  30. harmcityhomer says: Jun 20, 2011 6:57 PM

    Sparta, you are missing the point.

    I do not watch Euro Futbol, but the millions that do, don’t care that it does not have parity.

    I am also not a fan of MLB, but it is still #2 in the USA even with drastically different levels of payroll.

  31. east96st says: Jun 20, 2011 8:32 PM

    vikescry1 says: “@(east96st) So you think they should end profit sharing and move all small market teams to larger markets? REALLY???”

    Not what I wrote at all. Reading comprehension, clearly, isn’t your strong suit.

    “If the corporation is determined to to swim against the tide of population shifts and simple supply and demand, than those teams have to fully subsidized. Either move the small market teams to cities that have the wealth to pay top dollar for PSLs, luxury suites, VIP parking, high end food, etc. or share all the cash so they can survive.”

    Notice the term “fully subsidized” and the phrase “share ALL the cash so they can survive”. You might actually try reading the post before posting a response that has nothing to do with what was written.

  32. airraid77 says: Jun 20, 2011 9:53 PM

    Its still on the owners, alway pro union till death do you part, SHOCKER!

  33. shrike58 says: Jun 21, 2011 12:45 PM

    The problem with the NFL is that it has gotten too big to be run as a rich man’s toy. Lack of accountability is usually it’s own reward, except when you have a cartel to keep you afloat. The breaking point will come when TV revenue takes a real hit.

    In a way it’s too bad that the organizational architecture of US pro football doesn’t look more like European pro soccer, with it’s tiered league structure and teams being promoted and demoted on the basis of non-performance. The rise of big-time college football before the rise of the big-time pro game probably took care of that line of development though.

    To be blunt, none of these teams have to be forever; frankly there are too many of them for the amount of talent out there, which just so happens to jack up the paydays for the undeserving on the rosters.

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