FACT CHECK: Players share in preseason revenue

A number of recent reports have incorrectly stated that players do not share in preseason revenue.  However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.com correctly explains the misunderstood issue in a July 3 story entitled “Lost preseason hurts players financially, too.” 

“We’ve seen and heard more than a few media members suggest that a lost preseason causes only the owners to lose significant dollars because the players don’t get game checks until the regular season begins,” Florio writes. “It’s not an accurate characterization of the true consequences of a canceled slate of exhibition games.

“As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello pointed out earlier this week on Twitter, the revenue generated during the preseason funds the salary cap, which in turn funds those game checks.  In other words, the game checks are higher than they otherwise would be, given the inclusion of roughly $800 million per year into the pot of total revenue.

“Assuming that the players get a 48-percent share of all revenue under a new CBA, a lost preseason would equate to $384 million in losses for the players, and $416 million in losses for the owners.”

“There’s an equal incentive for both parties to save the preseason,” Florio concludes.  “Meaningless to the rest of us, those non-game games with the full-price tickets and network ratings that outperform regular-season baseball have great meaning not only to the owners, but also to the players. Even if the players don’t truly get paid for those games until September.”

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