Minneapolis (AP)—The NFL asked a federal judge Wednesday to deny the
players’ union bid to release details in a $4 billion TV revenue dispute, saying
information should be kept confidential because it is commercially sensitive.
Two weeks ago, U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled—rejecting a
special master’s previous decision—that the NFL illegally secured the money
from TV contracts for 2011, money the players contend was arranged to fund a
A week ago, the union requested that all exhibits, testimony and transcripts
The league filed its response and included redacted versions of exhibits
cited in Doty’s decision totaling more than 800 pages. Much of the information
was blacked out to protect information the NFL considers sensitive, harmful to
future negotiations if revealed and damaging to business relations.
“Unsealing these documents would reveal to entities with whom we have, may
have, or seek to have commercial relationships our internal thought processes
relating to television programming and digital rights,” Brian Rolapp, chief
operating officer for NFL Media, wrote in his declaration of support filed with
the league’s request.
League lawyers, however, argue that the court’s previous denial of local
media’s request to unseal all the documents should apply to the union’s request
as well to satisfy the public’s right to know and to provide context that “will
be the basis for rulings to come.”
The NFL’s argument cited Doty’s suggestion in court to Paul Hannah, an
attorney representing the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Star Tribune of Minneapolis
in the Feb. 24 hearing, that the papers “try to focus on what it is that they
are looking for” rather than making a sweeping request for all the information.