NFL will face public backlash and unresolved media deals at fall 2021 meetings

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the NFL football match between the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts on October 3, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Andrew Bershaw | Sportswire Icon | Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis sat in the lobby of a New York hotel on Wednesday and was quickly attacked by the media.

Davis was one of the few NFL owners who were in no rush to leave the InterContinental Hotel after the league wrapped up its fall 2021 meetings. He even smiled, answering questions about the state of professional football for about 20 minutes.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his first face-to-face meetings with team owners in over 600 days this week, and those meetings have been fueled by numerous league ownership scandals. Public reaction to the leaked emails containing racist and homophobic language led to the resignation of Raiders coach John Gruden. Meanwhile, Congress is examining the NFL’s actions against the misconduct of the Washington football team in the workplace.

When it comes to income, certain media rights remain in place, and the NFL’s offseason pre-draft pooling could be channeled to a new location.

As the NFL enters the eighth week of its season, Davis was asked to describe the state of the NFL.

“I really can’t describe it,” Davis said. “I know where the Raiders are.”

Davis confirmed that the Raiders have negotiated a financial settlement with Gruden, who signed a 10-year, $ 100 million contract to train the team in 2018. Gruden stepped down earlier this month after leaked letters from him containing racist and homophobic language.

Davis said that if the NFL knew about the emails, it could have resolved the issue before the season began.

“We all have demons in our lives,” he said. “You must understand this. And then you must also look at the atonement. “

The emails were discovered as part of an investigation by the Washington football team.

The NFL has received over 600,000 emails from Dan Snyder’s WFT culture survey. In July last year, the team’s investigation revealed that the club is a “highly unprofessional” workplace, especially for women. The NFL fined the team $ 10 million, and Snyder agreed to step aside, handing over day-to-day control to his wife Tanya.

The NFL thought the issue was settled until New York Times reported that Gruden had used offensive comments in emails to then-WFT President Bruce Allen for seven years. This was when Gruden was an ESPN employee.

Former WFT employees have broken up NFL meetings to demand the release of investigation papers. The House Oversight and Reform Committee also sent a letter to Goodell asking for documents related to the investigation by November 4.

Goodell addressed the issue on Tuesday. He said it would be “difficult” to provide additional details, citing the league’s promise to protect the anonymity of more than 150 people surveyed. He said the NFL will work with Congress.

Regarding the WFT investigation, Davis said he prefers a more detailed report, “especially given some of the allegations.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to avoid a media showdown, but he failed. He dropped the bag and briefly said that he “approves of the way the league works,” without answering additional questions.

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis watches the game against the Chicago Bears at the Allegiant Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chris Unger | Getty Images

The future of the NFL Sunday Ticket

In terms of money, the NFL struck over $ 100 billion in media protection deals over the next decade. Davis was happy to bring this up.

“We need to talk about the collective bargaining agreement and the new TV contract that will give stability to the league – this is really important to us,” he said. “And we still have a lot to work on.”

But there is still an unresolved issue – the NFL’s Sunday ticket. AT&T has rights through its ownership to DirecTV. The deal, which pays out more than $ 1 billion annually by the NFL, expires in 2023. After that, she can change the platform.

On Tuesday, Goodell called the Sunday Ticket a “streaming product” that the NFL wants to capture from satellite and make it digital.

“I think the best thing for our fans is to make it available on a digital platform,” he said.

Goodell said the NFL has not identified a new partner. Amazon is a target for rights, but rumors in league circles suggest that the NFL will eventually take over Apple.

Apple has a distribution with iPhones and iPads and can host games on its streaming service. Longtime sports executive Andy Dolich called it “railroad tracks” when discussing the decline of regional sports networks.

A person familiar with the NFL’s opinion on the Sunday Ticket told CNBC that several tech companies are showing interest, but did not name names. The person discussed this issue on condition of maintaining anonymity, since the negotiations are confidential.

DirecTV has a streaming service and is trying to raise awareness by sponsoring ESPN shows. This service has received no star reviews.

The NFL is looking at several ways to experiment with the Sunday Ticket, including giving consumers the option to buy customized team games. It can also simulate a broadcast TV packet, allowing streaming services to host a specific conference. And to add value to the Sunday Ticket, the NFL may also include media sites such as and the NFL Network.

Last August, the NFL hired Goldman Sachs to search investment partners iin properties.

The league has another season with DirectTV, but the NFL is likely looking to strike a new deal before the 2022 season begins.

Ohio defender Jeff Okuda prepares for a 40-yard run during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

Combine moving to Dallas

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