The National Football League and the Owners will appear before their favorite Judge, U.S. District Judge David Doty, as he will listen to oral arguments from both the NFL and the former NFL Players’ Association as to whether damages should be assessed in what is now being referred to as the “lockout insurance case”.
Judge Doty ruled on March 1, 2011, that the NFL violated the collective bargaining agreement with the players when clauses were negotiated into broadcast contracts with the major networks wherein the networks would continue to pay rights fees to the owners even during the period of a lockout. So, if the players were locked-out and there were no football games played in 2011, the NFL and the Owners would still be guaranteed payments from the networks in an amount exceeding $4.5B.
The former NFL PA is requesting that the court assess damages against the NFL in an amount somewhere between $600M and $1B. The NFL is requesting that the $6.9M that they have already paid is sufficient.
Once again, if the court does assess damages against the NFL in excess of the $6.9M that was previously paid, the league, in all likelihood, will appeal that decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.