The NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of the season. The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on July 1, 2011. There seems to be a sizable gulf between each league and its respective player's unions in regards to getting a new deal done.
The NFL owners want players to add two more regular season games to the schedule (16 to 18 regular season games), they'd like to add regular season games in Europe AND they're asking the players to take an 18% paycut. Bet the players can't wait to sign off on that deal.
The NBA owners want to reduce player salaries by $750M and they'd like to reduce the number of years for guaranteed player contracts from 6 and 5 years to something more along the lines of 3 and 2 years. Heck, if the owners had their way, they'd move to a system where contracts are not guaranteed. NBA Commissioner David Stern has even said that contraction is on the table during the CBA discussions.
The unions for the NFL and NBA have already shown great resistance to these suggested changes. We know there's tension between the player's unions and the owners. So I'm a bit mystified as to why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA Commissioner David Stern would decide to stand on their soap boxes in the past few weeks and talk about expansion into Europe. I would think each Commissioner would see that things clearly have the possibility of going sideways here in the U.S. if new CBA's are not able to be negotiated in the near future.
This is like talking about adding on to your house before you've broken ground on the original structure.