The four major American sports leagues, the National Football League (“NFL”), the National Basketball Association (“NBA”), Major League Baseball (“MLB”) and the National Hockey League (“NHL”), generated an estimated twenty-five billion U.S. dollars in revenues for 2012. The NFL ranks as the highest revenue-generating professional athletics league in the world, with the MLB coming in second, the NBA coming in fourth, and the NHL coming in as the sixth highest revenue-generating athletics league. While these leagues generate such a high amount of revenue, all stoppages of work go against the conventional business plan and prevent the generation of income. These high revenue-generating leagues have recently experienced more “lockouts” than in the past, as the owners and players associations argue vehemently over their share of the revenues.
Evan Goldsmith, Adhesive Arbitration: The Sustainable Grace for the Future of the World's Most Profitable Sports Leagues, 6 Y.B. Arb. & Mediation 387 (2014).