EA extends NFL exclusivity contract to 2013, protects itself from lockout

New deal ensures EA won't lose the farm if the 2011 NFL season is a bust

EA has extended its exclusivity agreement with the NFL for another year, securing its maniacal hold on the football genre while also scoring a sweet discount on the deal in light of a looming NFL lockout.

Originally set to expire next year, the pact between EA and NFL will now continue until 2013, thereby granting the publisher complete rights over the league's names and images. What makes this extension different from the last extension in 2008 is that EA has received an unspecified monetary break from its obligations to account for the fact that there very well may not be a new season upon which to update their franchise. Ongoing league negotiations have put the 2011 season in serious jeopardy, the result of which could leave EA at a loss for league updates in their yearly Madden NFL entry.

"For one of our core partners in a difficult environment, we say let's look at this, and maybe it makes some sense to extend something out longer and give our partner some relief in the short term but gain something on the back end," said Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver and chairman of the NFL's business ventures committee.

Lockout or not, Madden NFL 12 is still on track for an August release.

[Source: 1up.com]

Feb 16, 2011


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