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|Fehr meets with players following Tuesday's CBA proposal|
|Written by Denis Gorman|
|Friday, 17 August 2012 18:00|
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, spent the last two days in Chicago updating the players on the status of the talks with the league, describes the two-day meeting as "successful."
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Donald Fehr’s message has stayed on point throughout the course of the labor negotiations with the NHL.
That did not change Friday afternoon.
“No one from the players’ side is talking about stopping the season,” Fehr told reporters in a 38-minute conference call from Chicago, where he met with players for two days to update players on the status of the talks with the league.
“I do not need to suggest that there are players who do not want to miss games,” Fehr said, while terming the two-day meeting as “successful.”
That is a direct contrast to the tenor of the financial discussions in which the league and its players are currently engaged. While both have said independent of the other that they are finding common ground on sub-committee issues, it is core economic issues in which they have unable to begin to come to an accord.
The players presented an offer to the league Tuesday in
It was a proposal in response to the offers the NHL made in July in which players would receive 43 percent of hockey-related revenue, while expanding the service time prior to unrestricted free agency, amongst other components.
“Their proposal is 43 percent and a whole host of [givebacks] that we’re not very much interested in,” Fehr said.
Fehr also noted that the players did not expand on any elements of the NHL’s proposed plans.
The NHLPA plan was not met with acceptance by the league.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters following Wednesday’s session in
“It’s fair to say the sides are apart — far apart — and have different views of the world and the issues,” Bettman said. “We value the proposal and what it means in terms of its economics differently than the Players' Association does. I think there still are a number of issues where we're looking at the world differently. I'm not sure that there has yet been a recognition of the economics in our world. [The] greater world and the sports industry, taking into account what recently happened with the NFL and the NBA.”
Both the NFL and NBA negotiated new CBAs with their players in 2011.
The new NFL CBA states that the players will earn at least 47 percent share of all revenues, while the NBA players will max out at 51.5 percent of basketball-related income. NHL players earned 57 percent of hockey-related revenue in 2011-12
It should be noted that the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball generate far more revenue in their television contracts than the NHL. The NHL agreed to a 10-year contract worth $2 billion with NBC Universal in April 2011.
By comparison, the NBA agreed to an eight-year contract extension with television partners ESPN/ABC and TNT/TBS in June 2007 worth $930 million per season, according to an Associated Press story. The deal expires at the conclusion of the 2015-16 campaign.
The NFL and its network television partners — CBS, FOX and NBC — announced nine-year contracts worth $1 billion per year in December 2011. Several months earlier, the league and ESPN, its other broadcast partner, came to terms on an eight-year extension worth $15.2 billion over the life of the contract.
The MLB averages $811 million per year from ESPN, Fox, TBS and DirecTV, and an additional $110 million in international broadcast rights, per a Forbes.com report in July. The Forbes story went on to suggest that the current contracts expire following the 2013 season and Major League Baseball could sign contracts totaling $10 billion.
“[To the owners] any number below 57 [percent] looks better,” Fehr said. “[But] economic system is different [in other leagues]. Every sport is different.”
Fehr also noted that Major League Baseball is the only one of the four major North American team sports that does not have a salary cap and is experiencing labor peace. Fehr said that he and Bettman have not spoken since Wednesday but expects the two will talk sometime this weekend.
The current CBA expires on Sept.15, and the season is scheduled to open on Oct. 11. Bettman has said that if a new CBA is not in place by Sept. 15, the owners would have no choice but to lock out the players.
Should that come to pass, it would be the third lockout under Bettman’s stewardship.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 18 August 2012 02:08|