By Richard Deitsch
January 12, 2014
One rival executive called CBS Sports NFL analyst Dan Fouts 'underrated,' and agrees that he and Ian Eagle should be on the No. 2 broadcast team.
Jeffery Washington/AP
Jay Gruden's new gig as head coach of the Washington Redskins could be problematic for his brother, ESPN analyst Jon.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

While the leagues' threat is to be taken seriously, there are legal reasons to doubt that the NFL would actually carry through on it. The NFL is a beneficiary of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which exempts the four major leagues from violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in their national television contracts. The exemption, however, only extends to "sponsored broadcasting" of games, an expression interpreted to mean free over-the-air TV. By moving all of its games to cable, the NFL would lose the exemption's protection and open itself up to years of antitrust litigation. Baseball is in a different position because of its historical exemption from antitrust law, but that exemption has been limited over the years. The nine Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments this spring and issue an opinion later in the year.

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