The work stoppage associated with the negotiation of a new employment contract for the players of the National Basketball Association will now be felt among the businesses and individuals that have no seat at the table but will nonetheless see their personal fortunes suffer.
The revenue split is one sticking point – the players want 53% and so do the teams. According to reports, the players currently receive 57%, but the teams are claiming they are operating at a deficit and need a bigger piece of the pie. According to Huffington Report, settling on a 50-50 split has been discussed but only informally.
Other issues involve the structure of the salary cap. The teams are seeking a luxury tax that would be paid by teams that go over the cap, hoping it will provide a mechanism to help smaller market teams to hang on to and compete for high priced players. The players consider this functionally be a hard cap that will limit their ability to negotiate a big contract.
The 100-game loss is the result of NBA Commissioner David Stern’s delay the start of the season by two weeks, from 11/1/11 to 11/14/11. That figures to cost the league $83M in lost ticket revenue before any additional revenue from concessions, parking and other things is even considered.
The two sides believe that an agreement will be reached before the season is canceled in its entirety but are said to be far apart still in the negotiations.
The battle comes on the heels of what many call the hallmark season – fan interest and revenues were soaring in the 2009-2010 season – and all of that good will is now being put in jeopardy.
RBR-TVBR observation: Once again, the billionaires and millionaires battle over percentage points and earning potential for the very best of the best, leaving others with a stake hanging. Maybe one of these days, the apparent disregard that professional sports have for fans and businesses will be repaid in full with some crippling indifference in return.