More possible fallout from O'Bannon vs. NCAA.

by: Sean Cahill -

We promised to continue covering this story and how it affects all aspects of entertainment, even though it seems that nothing is going to save the now expected to be defunct forever NCAA Football franchise.  Things have really taken a strange turn in the last couple of days, with Fox Sports coming out and commenting on the situation.  One part we didn't cover was that Fox Sports and the Big Ten Network filed a temporary injunction, allowing them to actually speak in front of Judge Claudia Wilken regarding the situation.  Essentially, the two networks said that the class-action lawsuit could have a trickle down effect that actually prohibits the broadcasting of collegiate sports if the lawsuit truly goes as far as the players are willing to take it.

The financial aspect of this that hit EA Sports hard was obviously the loss of the NCAA Football franchise, though EA Sports hasn't released estimated figures yet on just how much of a blow that is to their studio.  Whatever that number is, however, it would have to be multiplied exponentially if it affected broadcasts.  The former Bowl Championship Series had a very lucrative contract with Disney, the owners of ABC and ESPN networks.  Richard Stone of Jenner & Block, who represented the networks in their piece with the court, was quoted as saying:

"What started as a lawsuit by former student athletes to share in the profits from T-shirts, pennants, and coffee mugs that bear their images has snowballed into a frontal assault on the sports broadcasters' (and other news organizations') freedom to televise sports and the public's right to be informed about newsworthy matters of substantial interest to large segments of the populace."

Our coverage of this case has probably come to an end, however.  EA Sports has managed to get out of the lawsuit with a settlement and has publicly stated that there are no plans to rekindle any collegiate sports franchises.  Everything beyond this is now regarding broadcasting.  If anything changes on the actual gaming front, we'll update the story.  For now, our chapter on this story ends.

 

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