EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

February 4, 2009 -

We always knew that EA's Madden franchise was a cash cow, but we didn't really appreciate the scale of the dollars involved.

Until now.

Despite winning a $28 million federal court judgment against the National Football League Players Association in November, militant NFL retirees continue to play offense against their former union. In fact, they're digging up all sorts of dirt.

During the class-action trial last fall, GamePolitics reported on damning e-mails between EA execs and NFLPA officials which showed the Madden publisher and the union conspiring to keep a lid on payments to retired players.

Now, former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dave Pear has posted the NFLPA's 2007 LM-2, a financial report required by the U.S. Department of Labor. The numbers contained therein are eye-popping, particularly EA's licensing payments to the NFLPA: $35,141,950.

Because the $35 million went to the player's union, we assume that figure does not include EA's licensing fees to the NFL for use of team names, logos, uniforms, stadiums and other data. We'd also guess that EA pays the league as much or more than the union for Madden licensing.

Big money, indeed.

For its part, the NFLPA is expected to appeal the $28 million verdict to a higher court.

GP: We should note that we do not at this point have any information on the number of years covered by the $35 million contained in the NFLPA's LM-2. However, we strongly suspect that it is for a single year, since all of the payments listed occurred within a 12-month window between March 1, 2007 and February 14, 2008.


Comments

Re: EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

At one point and time the big boys had 1 maybe 2 great titles some good and a ton of shovel ware, this is true today however the market and industry itself has changed. Small Devs can no longer bear the burden of small scale low end development, they must seek out the the larger publishing houses this results in more shoveled features but allows the industry to grow into itself from a witless 20 something.

 


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Re: EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

More money out of EA's hands, the happier I am...  I just want to see that company die...  Okay, break up into 100 different tiny companies...

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Re: EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

When their actually trying to do innovative things, supporting developers, changing their image, and having the industry moxie to change up franchises like NFS and making new IP's like Dead Space, you want them to die?

Logical!

Re: EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

Not only that, but merging with the big boys is the only way a lot of smaller companies can survive in this day and age.  In a perfect world, we'd have many smaller companies making great games without having to constantly answer to shareholders and corporate suits.

Alas...

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: EA Paid NFL Players Union $35 Million in 2007

If it meant Maxis managing to break away from EA's grip, I'd go for it.

 
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