One more article about the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the day. After all, the clock is ticking as the voting is only set to run through Thursday. Perhaps by as early as Friday morning, we will know whether or not the current CBA proposal has passed, and thus under what rules the 2020 season will be executed under.
Earlier in the day we talked about how there are some among the ownership group who would actually like to see the players vote down the current proposal. The owners did not vote unanimously to approve it themselves, and some did so begrudgingly, pressed by a sense of urgency because they would like to rework their television contracts.
According to other reports, however, the owners may be likely to move forward in negotiating new broadcasting contracts whether the CBA is passed this year or not, which does help explain why some owners would be interested in seeing the vote fail.
“There isn’t anything that prevents the league from going forward and getting TV contracts without a Collective Bargaining Agreement”, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Pro Football Talk. He did say that he would expect those deals to be less substantial than if there were a new CBA in place.
“I think if they have to go and get those TV deals without long-term labor peace, it is commonsense that those TV deals will be less than if they were negotiated with 10 years of labor peace”, he said. “And if those contracts are indeed less, that’s a smaller pie. And if the league has to take a smaller pie, why wouldn’t they come back to the players next year and say, ‘there is a smaller pie available, therefore we won’t agree to a larger slice of a smaller pie?’”.
While that might be true to some extent that the league would not get as lucrative a deal as they would otherwise if they had a contract signed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t get some fantastic deals put in place, with the understanding being that the 17-game schedule is coming—and perhaps even an 18-game schedule.
It’s worth noting that the contract for Monday Night Football expires after the 2021 season, and it’s been widely speculated that it could be changing hosts. In order for that to happen, somebody is going to have to lay down a lot of money.