CBS Says It Will Pass On NFL Licensing Fees

    September 8, 2008

CBS Sports has filed a lawsuit against the NFL Players Association in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis over the use of NFL players statistics for fantasy football league.

The lawsuit says that CBS Interactive, a division of, is seeking a declaratory judgment that it has the rights to fantasy football statistics that are publicly available.

CBS Sports NFL

CBS seeks a court ruling "the Players Association may not seek to control the use of player statistics in fantasy games and may not continue to extract money from CBS Interactive for the use of publicly available football statistics."

The lawsuit says that CBS had paid a licensing fee in the past, but stopped doing so after its most recent agreement expired on February 29. The company stopped paying the fee because of a ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St.Louis involving the statistics from Major League Baseball players and their use in fantasy baseball games.

In that case, the court said that a Missouri-based company did not have to pay a licensing fee to Major League Baseball players for its fantasy baseball games. In June, the Supreme Court did not review the case and let the appeals court ruling stand.

The baseball players argued they should earn a profit from the commercial use of their names.

A Spokesman for said the company does not comment on pending litigation.