Ed Garvey, former head of the National Football League Players Assn., testified Thursday that he believes the NFL uses the Super Bowl as leverage to gain control in its relationship with the three major television networks.
Garvey, a U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin, testified at New York in the United States Football League's $1.5-billion antitrust suit against the NFL.
Garvey said on the stand that the union believed that competitive bidding for the Super Bowl would have gained more money for the league and its players.
"What did the NFL gain from not putting it out for competitive bidding?" asked USFL attorney Harvey Myerson.
Garvey replied: "It gained control with respect to its relationship with the three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC). It kept the networks working together and working with the NFL. The NFL sacrificed profits but gained control."