Legal - Football Wiretap

Netflix Not Interested In Broadcasting Live Sports

Apr 19, 2017 1:21 PM

Netflix is not interested in following Amazon or Twitter into broadcasting live sports.

“Investors ask us about Amazon’s move into NFL football,” the company said in a statement as it released its Q1 2017 results. “That is not a strategy that we think is smart for us, since we believe we can earn more viewing and satisfaction from spending that money on movies and TV shows.”

Revenues increased by 35% for Netflix, while the service added 5 million new members.

Rimma Kats/eMarketer

Tags: Legal

Jury Acquits Aaron Hernandez In Double-Murder Trial

Apr 17, 2017 8:25 AM

Aaron Hernandez, who is already serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a spilled drink.

The former New England Patriots tight end wept quietly as the verdicts were read in Boston.

After six days of deliberations, the jury found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. It convicted him of a single charge: unlawful possession of a gun. The judge sentenced him to an additional four to five years in prison, separate from his existing life sentence.


Tags: New England Patriots, Legal, Misc Rumor

Robert Kraft Declined Adelson's Offer Of Killing Raiders' Vegas Move

Apr 13, 2017 12:18 PM

Robert Kraft and Sheldon Adelson have been friends for decades and are members of the same synagogue.

Kraft expressed his displeasure with Jerry Jones running the Oakland Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas.

"Jerry is running wild," Kraft said. "I can't believe this."

"I'll kill this if you want me to," Adelson replied.

Kraft didn't want him to kill the deal.

Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr./ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Legal

Sheldon Adelson Doesn't Care About NFL, Thought Goodell's 'An Idiot'

Apr 13, 2017 12:16 PM

Mark Davis wanted to partner with Sheldon Adelson as both a financier and a fixer as he attempted to relocate the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.

Adelson couldn't "give a f--- about the NFL," or any sports, in the words of a lawyer who knows him well. Adelson has attended fewer than five NFL games in his life.

Adelson's private assessment of commissioner Roger Goodell: "He's an idiot."

Davis is seen as the NFL's least wealthy owner and needed someone like Adelson to make such a major move.

"I don't want to make any money," Davis told Adelson, moments after their introduction. "I just want to protect my dad's legacy."

"Well, I do things to make money," Adelson replied. "I don't understand that. Everyone wants to make money."

Adelson considered the Raiders' move a chance to help him shift a windfall of public money away from a competitor's convention center renovation. Bringing the NFL to Las Vegas would also serve as a legacy project for Adelson.

Adelson decided to push Nevada lawmakers to shift most of the bed tax money from their convention center to a proposed 65,000-seat football stadium, to be built on land across from Mandalay Bay off the Strip's southern stretch. 

Adelson wanted a return on his investment and eventually pulled out of the deal.

"What Sheldon was buying isn't worth $650 million," says a league source with intimate knowledge of the negotiations. "It never made sense that the Raiders couldn't make it work. Davis was getting a debt-free stadium and got to keep all NFL revenue. It was the greatest deal in NFL history."

Adelson and Goldman Sachs pulled out of the deal with the Raiders but Davis replaced them with Bank of America.

Jerry Jones played a big role from there, wearing six hats: "shadow commissioner, deal broker, stadium financier, proponent of legalized daily fantasy wagering in Nevada, owner/general manager of the Cowboys" and as part owner of Legends Hospitality. 

Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr./ESPN

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Legal

St. Louis Sues Rams, All 31 Other Teams Over Relocation

Apr 12, 2017 4:18 PM

The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County have filed a lawsuit against the Rams and the NFL over their relocation to Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs allege the Rams and the NFL violated the standards of team relocations and breached its contract with the city.

The suit says the Rams made intentional false claims that only enriched themselves and damaged the plaintiffs. 

According to the complaint, because of the Rams move to Los Angeles, St. Louis lost an estimated $1.85 - $3.5 million each year in amusement and ticket tax collections, approximately $7.5 million in property tax, $1.4 million in sales tax and millions in earnings taxes. The suit also claims the city lost more than $100 million in net proceeds because of the move as well as hotel and property tax revenue and sales tax revenue. 

Kevin Spain/USA Today

Tags: Los Angeles Rams, Legal

NFL Relocation Fees Won't Be Shared With Players

Apr 11, 2017 4:45 PM

As a condition of approving all three franchise moves in the last 15 months, the NFL individually assessed relocation fees that will each be doled out to 31 other franchises. Those fees, according to various reports, total anywhere from $1.43 billion to $1.68 billion, or a distribution of approximately $46 million to $54 million per team. 

Those fees are not directly new revenue and won't be shared with players.

The CBA specifically excludes these fees from the revenues used to determine the league’s salary cap. 

Sports Illustrated’s Jack Dickey wrote back in January: “An observer from outside the sports world could reasonably conclude that the NFL is in actuality a trade group for land barons.”

Dom Cosentino/Deadspin

Tags: Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Legal

Amazon Buys Thursday Night Football Live Stream Rights For $50M

Apr 4, 2017 8:08 PM

Amazon will replace Twitter as the NFL's partner to live stream their Thursday Night Football games.

The company will livestream the 10 “TNF” games carried by CBS and NBC as part of a one-year deal.

Amazon paid $50 million for the rights, substantially more than the $10 million that Twitter paid for “TNF” streaming rights last season. 

Amazon has wanted to put sports rights on its Amazon Prime video service, and the NFL deal will allow the company to do that.

John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Tags: Legal

Seth Godin Uses NFL, Raiders As Way 'Capitalism Corrupts Our Culture'

Mar 31, 2017 12:01 PM

Seth Godin, a prominent best selling author on marketing and business, wrote a blog post about the NFL's decisions to let the Oakland Raiders relocate to Las Vegas.

Godin's piece is titled 'Merely Transactional'.

""We owe you nothing."

"This week, all but one NFL owner voted to let the Raiders leave Oakland for Las Vegas (I'm not a football fan, but bear with me)," writes Godin.

"A nearly perfect example of how one version of capitalism corrupts our culture.

"The season ticket holder bought a ticket and got his games. Even steven. We owe you nothing.

"The dedicated fan sat through endless losing games. Even steven. Ticket purchased, game delivered. We owe you nothing.

"The problem with 'even steven' is that it turns trust and connection and emotions into nothing but a number. Revenue on a P&L. It ignores the long-term in exchange for a relentless focus on today. Only today.

"There's an alternative view of capitalism. Modern capitalism. Capitalism for the long-term.  In this view, the purpose of an enterprise is to make things better. To minimize negative externalities and create value. Value for the owners, sure, but also for the workers, the customers and the bystanders. 

""We owe you everything."

"You trusted us. You showed up. You tolerated our impact on your world, even when you didn't invite us in.

"It'll never be even steven, but we can try to repay you. Thank you for the opportunity.

"I think this is what sports fans signed up for when they were first offered the chance to support a team. Maybe your customers feel the same way."

Seth Godin

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Legal

Colin Kaepernick Remaining Unsigned This Late Is Historical Anomaly

Mar 29, 2017 4:58 PM

Since 1966, only one under-30 quarterback has had as good a year as Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 has gone unsigned the next year.

Due to Kaepernick's protest of the national anthem last season, there have been questions as to whether that's the reason teams have been avoiding him.

It’s difficult to find a recent free agent quarterback who played at Kaepernick’s level and lasted so long on the market the next offseason. Matt Leinart (2012) and Kyle Orton (2014) signed nearly 50 days into their free agency, but neither had played much the year before. Michael Vick wasn’t signed for 169 days in 2015, but he was also older and coming off a season (39.4 QBR) far worse than Kaepernick’s 2016.

Beyond the political component of Kaepernick's situation, there is an unusual factor this offseason in that Tony Romo's status remains uncertain.

Kyle Wagner, Neil Paine/Five Thirty Eight

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Free Agent Rumor, Legal, Misc Rumor

Roger Goodell's Job Again Considered Stable By Owners

Mar 29, 2017 4:12 PM

Despite some clear mistakes Roger Goodell has made, including Deflategate and the Ray Rice suspension, his footing as commissioner has stabilized among even owners who didn't think he was doing a good job.

The NFL is making unprecedented levels of money, which Goodell is perceived as contributing towards.

Owners see Goodell as someone who basically will do what they say. While this is a fundamental part of any commissioner job, Goodell "takes this to a new level."

Owners have privately expressed their belief that the NFL has managed to maneuver past Deflategate, CTE and the Rice situation, which were three of the most problematic issues they have ever faced.

One owner compared Goodell's situation to that of a president who gets credit for a strong economy even if they have nothing to do with it.

Mike Freeman/Bleacher Report

Tags: Legal

John Harbaugh Doesn't Believe Colin Kaepernick Is Being Blackballed
Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent but John Harbaugh believes it is "stupid" and "intellectually lazy" to believe he is being blackballed by NFL teams.

Owners Approve Raiders' Relocation To Las Vegas 31-1
The Raiders will continue to play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018 before likely finding a temporary venue for 2019.

Ian Rapoport/

Oakland Presents Revised Plan For $1.3 Billion Stadium
Under the city's plan, a new home for the Raiders would be built on a 55-acre parcel on the southern edge of where their current home sits.

Jim Trotter/ESPN

Roger Goodell Has 'Felt Increased Commercialization' Of NFL
The NFL is working on improving the experience of television viewers, which could include decreasing the number of in-house promos run by the networks during the telecast.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Raiders' Relocation Vote Expected Next Week
NFL owners are expected to vote at next week's meetings whether to approve the Raiders' relocation to las Vegas.


Raiders President: Vegas Financing Isn't An Issue
Raiders president Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board on Thursday that "financing will not be an issue" as he reaffirmed the team's desire to move to southern Nevada.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN

Goldman Sachs Considering Exit From Raiders' Vegas Deal
Goldman Sachs had been in line to help underwrite Raiders owner Mark Davis' financial commitment.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Adelson Family Withdraws From Raiders' Stadium In Vegas
The family of Sheldon Adelson have withdrawn as investors in a proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium.

Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal

Raiders File Paperwork For Move To Las Vegas
The team's relocation to Las Vegas must be approved by three-fourths of the NFL's team owners.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN

Raiders Plan On Filing Relocation Papers To Las Vegas
The move will be made official in the coming days, but the Raiders will need 24 votes from the NFL's owners to formally make the move.

Ian Rapoport/

NFL Averaged 30.3M Viewers For Wildcard Games
Last season, the NFL had an average of 32.6 million viewers but just 29.9 million in 2015.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

NFL TV Ratings After Election Down 1 Percent Compared To 2015
NBC saw an 11 percent spike in viewers for its Sunday night broadcasts after Donald Trump won the presidential election Nov. 8.

A.J. Perez/USA Today

Report: Chargers 'As Good As Gone' For Los Angeles
The Chargers have been in San Diego since 1961 but Art Spanos reportedly "has every intention" of moving the team.

Jason La Canfora/CBS Sports

NFL TV Ratings Rebound Following Election
During Weeks 10-14, NFL games averaged 18.1 million viewers, off just 2 percent compared to those weeks in 2015.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

NFL Cap To Exceed $165M In 2017 With 4th Straight Year Of $10M+ Jump
The NFL's salary cap is projected to go up by at least $10 million for the fourth consecutive season in 2017.

RealGM Staff Report

Mark Davis, Sheldon Adelson Struggling To Reach Final Vegas Deal
Sheldon Adelson has a reputation for driving hard bargains and he is expected to push for partial ownership of the Raiders and a path to control the franchise.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Supreme Court Rejects Challenges To NFL's $1B Concussion Settlement
The league estimates that 6,000 former players, or nearly three in 10, could develop Alzheimer's disease or moderate dementia.


Chargers Expected To Exercise Option For Los Angeles Relocation
The Chargers were granted the option to relocate to L.A. with a deadline of Jan. 15, 2017.

Eric D. Williams/ESPN

Darren Sharper Receives 20-Year Sentence In Rape Case
Darren Sharper has been sentenced a 20-year prison term in an embarrassing rape case.

Associated Press

NFL Will Reevaluate Thursday Night Football
The current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk