EA Sports’ hold on the American football scene has been tightened, with the NFL agreeing to continue the publisher’s exclusive license through 2013.
Sports Business Daily reports that the licensing deal has been extended by one year, while the publisher’s contractual obligations have been lessened.
The changes are speculated to have come about as a result of uncertainty over the resolution of ongoing pay disputes, which may disrupt the fall season.
EA is reported to have requested its licensing payments be reduced by $30 million, and is moving forward with the assumption that the 2011 season will not occur. Madden NFL 12 is still expected to ship in August, minus a major selling point of the NFL license – accurate weekly recreations of current teams and rosters.
Other NFL licensees have allegedly had their own requests for fee reductions denied.
EA’s licensing deal with the NFL is reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars, while a separate arrangement with the NFL Player’s Association is valued at up to $40 million.