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Standard & Poor’s optimism on league’s ability to withstand lockout needs to be revisited


On Monday, the folks at Standard & Poor’s concluded that “some teams” would be able to withstand a two-year lockout. (Of course, this implies that “some teams” wouldn’t.) The well-known rating agency also predicted that NFL teams would continue to generate much of their revenue in 2011, according to

Some are pointing to the assessment in the aftermath of the adverse “lockout insurance” ruling from Judge David Doty, which could keep the league from collecting a penny under network deals that otherwise would pay out billions during a lockout. But here’s the catch -- the S&P projection assumes that the league will collect the TV money.

Indeed, S&P calls the TV money “an important source of funds that would help the owners avoid any default on their own obligations.” If that source of funds is blocked, the owners would have to come up with other funds to avoid a default on their obligations, such as the mortgage on Cowboys Stadium.

Thus, the folks at S&P should update their work with a new assumption: the owners not getting any money from the networks during a work stoppage.

We’re no financial analysts, but we think the revised predictions will be slightly less rosy for the owners.