Category Archives: NFL

Lack of NFL License News Raises Questions

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Almost two years have passed since the NFL extended the exclusive video game license with EA Sports. At the time the events made it obvious that the satisfied partner in the relationship was the NFL and not EA. It was evident that EA would later seek to secure much more favorable terms come negotiation time.

An extension to the exclusive license has still not been announced. In the past that news has come in February (2008 and 2011) each time two years in advance of expiration. Now though the current deal is set to expire next month and there have been no updates from either side on how things will proceed. 

EA had the leverage going into the process. The NFL has been happy with the partnership to date. The exclusive deal has brought in four times as much money each year as when multiple licensees paid in and they’ve been able to enact a level of control over the product that projects the image the league desires. The NFLPA loves the arrangement too because it brings in the most money possible. For the league to turn to a different company would mean likely no NFL game on the market for at least two years and that is an unthinkable scenario.

Unlike partnerships related to apparel, uniforms, beverage, and the like there is a turnaround time and a greater sense of uncertainty that would come with switching video game developers. Though now they are expected to extended NFL Sunday Ticket with DirecTV at one point they strongly considered going elsewhere with it when DirecTV questioned its value. That is similar to how EA Sports has felt as development costs increased coupled with shrinking sales. The common thread however with how the NFL handles its brand is exclusivity. It would go against their M.O. to open up a license to multiple parties.

That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. EA Sports has no reason to pay a premium for the exclusive when the threat of competition is thin even if other companies had the opportunity to buy in. The investment for a new company to begin from scratch would be enormous beyond whatever enter fee there would be for the license and then there would only be the potential of splitting the pie with EA who has one of the strongest brands in gaming history with Madden. Still it’s a more realistic scenario than new serious competitors entering the field in other sports.

EA Sports continues to develop Madden NFL 15 and there have been no indications that the license is in question for this year. At the very least they seem to have secured a limited extension yet there has been no official announcement of details. That they have avoided addressing the topic suggests there very well could be a change to the status quo and the news on that being held until the completion of the NFL season and the expiration of the previous deal. Neither side gains from the perception of uncertainty so if an agreement for extending the exclusive has been reached there would have been no reason to hold an announcement back.

No one should get their hopes up too high of a change to the way the NFL license is handled and who will be involved developing officially licensed games. However there is reason to believe that a change of sorts is plausible. February or early March would be the time when details will have to be shared regarding any parties attached through a deal.

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The Final Four Of The Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote, Has Begun! Cast Your Vote Now!

The cover campaign featuring both legends and current stars for Madden NFL 25 has reached the finals in the two brackets. The “Old School” and “New School” participants have been shaved down to two each with the eventual winners from each side facing off for the cover honors.

Barry Sanders goes up against Jerry Rice while Arian Foster will take on Adrian Peterson. Foster’s run is the only thing that could be considered a surprise especially having quit social media prior to the tournament. He has gone on to beat Julio Jones, Colin Kaepernick, and now Russell Wilson. There are currently one, two, three, and four seeds remaining. Peterson is likely to move on (he absolutely CRUSHED Robert Griffin III) with the Rice-Sanders pairing (both collected about equal percentage with comparable opponents) much more difficult to call.

Voting is completed through the ESPN SportsNation Page. The fifth round runs until April 17th when it will move forward to the overall finals.

TSG Madden 13 OF (Connected Career) Division Round Up: AFC WEST

 

This is one of the toughest divisions in TSG this year, who do you think will come out on top? Ninja is probably considered the best of the best in all of TSG winning a record 6 Super Bowl titles, the team he has is a quiet powerhouse as well, enough said. Bosoulja surprised a lot of people in TSG in Madden 12 when he took over for the Browns & ended up stealing the division away from Cincy, so he is a tough match up and now has his favorite team the Oakland Raiders. Broncomaniac is a big Broncos fan and made some noise in the division last Madden with the addition of Peyton Manning this team is dangerous. Deathpool is on a good team but not sure how much noise he can make in this division with all the competition & an aging team. Please Comment Below on what you think will pan out:

TSG Madden 13 OF (Connected Career) Division Round Up: AFC SOUTH

To check out the NFC NORTH division breakdown go here. AFC NORTH breakdown go here. NFC South breakdown go here.

With the so-called King of the AFC South, chubbzz0727, moving on to the 49ers this year (via random draw) the division could be wide open. Is this DD’s time to finally shine and make some sort of splash into the playoffs or as a division winner? Or are newcomers MR463 (Colts) & cowboys2k9 (Titans) to much for him to overcome, with a Super Bowl title & many playoff appearances between them. Ricoman is always a tough game and could easily battle any of these other teams for a Wild Card spot or even division title, but is Sunshine aka Blaine Gabbert really a NFL QB? Only time will tell, so please feel free to comment below on who you think can win this division, how tough the division is & are there any contenders for a championship in it…..

TSG Madden 13 OF (Connected Career) Division Round Up: NFC NORTH

Who do you think will win this division? Monkey &  Kid Life have had a rivalry since Madden 10, playing in the same division in Madden 1o & 12. They have dominated this division with a grand total of 1 Super Bowl Win, 5 Super Bowl Appearances, 15 Division Titles & 17 Playoff Appearances (20 Seasons Played). RJ is an unknown but has a power house of a team & is a wild card. Bosshog is always a tough game and with a team that has a bunch of young talent mixed with old skill, can this be a team able to contend with Christian Ponder at QB. Vote in the comments section about who you think will take this division, if you think there will be multiple playoff teams from this division, if its a weak division, can one of these teams take home a Lombardi Trophy?

Megatron aka Calvin Johnson Wins Madden 13 Cover Athlete Honor

 

EA AND ESPN ANNOUNCE CALVIN JOHNSON, JR.
AS THE FAN-VOTED MADDEN NFL 13 COVER ATHLETE

 

Nearly 20 Million Votes Cast through ESPN’s SportsNation, Shattering Last Year’s Award-Winning Campaign

 

New Features Unveiled for Madden NFL 13 during Kickoff Event in Times Square

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – April 25, 2012 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and ESPN announced today that Calvin Johnson, Jr., wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, was selected by millions of fans across the country to grace the cover of Madden NFL 13, which will hit store shelves August 28. Johnson, a No. 6 seed, defeated fellow NFL Pro Bowler Cam Newton, a No.1seed, in a thrilling matchup culminating in a live unveiling on ESPN’s SportsNation and a cover photo shoot for the winner in New York City’s Times Square. This year’s vote campaign surpassed last year’s totals by 54% (19.6 million vs. 12.7 million), ending with Johnson triumphing over Newton by a final margin of 52% to 48%. Continue reading Megatron aka Calvin Johnson Wins Madden 13 Cover Athlete Honor

NFL Sunday Ticket Comes To The PlayStation 3

Football season is upon us, yet being a football fan often feels like a punishment if you enjoy technology; streaming of NFL games has lagged behind the NBA, NHL, and MLB in terms of device availability.

NFL on PS3: You ready?

Sony announced today that NFL Sunday Ticket will be available on the PlayStation 3 this season, bringing the only method of viewing all NFL games to a video game console for the first time.

The price of adoption isn’t cheap: New customers who aren’t already using DirecTV will have to pay $339.95 for the privilege of streaming a whole season of games. Existing DirecTV customers have to pay $50 to activate the PS3 connectivity.

Another caveat: this only allows access to out-of-market games, meaning that die-hard local fans (such as myself) will have to watch local broadcasts and regular television for their teams, and hop off the

PS3–or, keep the PS3 and TV in a picture-in-picture orientation.

Yes, the games will be in full HD, and Red Zone Channel is included. The $340 is $90 more than the price of the newly price-dropped PS3, but for football junkies, at least this is progress. And, not having to pay any extra for DirecTV service or a satellite dish setup sounds like a plus.

We’re curious to see this in action. For the record, NFL Sunday Ticket also works as of this season on the following mobile platforms, according to DirecTV’s press release: the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy tablets, Motorola’s Android phones, the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Blackberry devices with 3G or Wi-Fi, the Palm Pre/Pixi, and “other Droid-branded phones.”

Madden Curse Already At Work?

Hillis sits out with hamstring issue: This is how it starts. Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis was removed from practice on Wednesday as a precaution due to a hamstring issue, coach Pat Shurmur said. But for superstitious fantasy owners, the latest “Madden” cover boy may as well have been standing under a ladder and juggling mirrors as a line of black cats paraded by.

Hillis is still the No. 1 running back in Cleveland and that doesn’t figure to change anytime soon. But with Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson waiting in the wings to scoop up any extra carries, there is plenty of reason to be concerned that Hillis won’t replicate his 2010 breakout success. Regardless, Hillis (the No. 14 running back on NFL.com’s projections) is still worthy of a being a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues. Now that the Browns are handling him and his hamstring with tender loving care, you are forgiven if you want to handcuff him to a rabbit’s foot in your draft.

Top 5 QB’s in Madden NFL 12

ESPN’s Gamer Blog, in partnership with SportsNation, is counting down the Top 5 players in “Madden NFL 12” at various positions, from the best quarterbacks in the game to the top hitting linebackers.

So just who are the best players in “Madden” this year? We kick things off with the guys who get all the glory (not to mention, the supermodels), taking a look at which quarterbacks received the highest overall ratings in the game. Let the debate begin.

Tom Brady tops the list of "Madden" quarterbacks with a 99 overall rating.

Tom Brady: 99 overall

Tom Brady is the only quarterback to score a 99 overall this year, also boasting 98 awareness, 95 throwing power, 97 accuracy, 99 stamina, 95 toughness, 98 throwing accuracy short, 96 throwing accuracy middle, and 89 throwing accuracy deep. His only weakness? That 58 speed and 57 acceleration will make it near impossible to avoid the virtual sack.

Peyton Manning still has the virtual arm to get it done in the clutch.

Peyton Manning: 98 overall

Peyton Manning falls just short of Brady in almost all categories, scoring a 94 throwing power, 96 throwing accuracy, 96 throwing accuracy short, 92 throwing accuracy middle, and 86 throwing accuracy deep. Where Manning beats Brady is in awareness (99) and foot speed (60 speed). I’d pay to see that race. Continue reading Top 5 QB’s in Madden NFL 12