EA renegotiates NFL deal

Publisher EA has successfully renegotiated the terms of its deal with the NFL that affords it the lucrative rights used to make its American football series true-to-life.

Sports Business Daily reports that the new contract "significantly reduces the video game maker’s contractual obligations" for the season ahead but at the same time extends the current deal until 2013.

The North American sport is experiencing a period of uncertainty with the threat of a possible strike threatening the 2011/2012 season. The dispute centres around the league’s use of brand and player licensing powers.

EA’s deal with the NFL allows it the right to use team colours and logos as well as player names. It is said to be worth a nine-figure sum and is believed to be the most lucrative non-TV contract the NFL has.

However, with the current agreement between The NFL Players Association and the NFL due to expire on March 4th, the NFLPA has been telling sponsors that if new terms are not agreed "the rights to players through NFL deals will no longer exist".

The publisher has already accounted for the possible fallout should next season not take place.

In terms of the NFL, I can tell you that our base assumption going into the plan is a very conservative one," CFO Eric Brown told investors earlier this month. "We’ve baked in, at least in our thinking, the most conservative assumption, meaning no season. We’re optimistic it can be better than that and generate further upside.”

It is still expected that Madden NFL 12 will be released in August.

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