The NFL has agreed to extend their exclusive licensing agreement with EA Sports for an extra season, through 2013. EA has had the exclusive right to use the names and logos of the NFL and its teams since 2004. The initial deal gave EA exclusivity for five years, but in 2008 the agreement was extended through Madden 2012, which will presumably be released this August. However, with a potential lockout looming for the NFL – The collective bargaining agreement between the NFLPA and the NFL team owners will expire next month – EA has expressed misgiving about being short-changed in the last year of their agreement.
According to the Wall Street Journal, EA had requested a 30 million dollar reduction in their contract over the potential of a lockout; their request would most likely grow exponentially if the season was reduced or cancelled. As of yesterday, the NFL has been given an undisclosed contract adjustment and a one-year contract extension, according to Sports Business Journal Daily.
Though the amount that EA pays for Madden’s exclusive NFL rights is not public knowledge, sources have alluded to the amount being in the mid-to-high hundred-million dollar range. In addition, EA pays the NFLPA between 30 and 40 million dollars per year for the likeness rights of NFL players.
Don’t worry though, Madden fans. In spite of this turmoil there has never been a single mention of a cancellation or delay for Madden 2012, which, as always, should be in stores around August 9th.