NCAA says people don't care to watch players. NCAA TV contracts say otherwise.

Perhaps the most important testimony from day four of the O'Bannon trial was the most obvious. Sports television expert Ed Desser took the stand to testify that when television companies buy the rights to games, they do it to actually show the games.

This seems incredibly obvious, but a key to the NCAA's case is proving its contracts state broadcasters buy the rights to show stadiums, not the players. This isn't a great point, especially since Judge Claudia Wilken had previously "chuckled" at the notion, but it's a way the organization could win on a technicality.

There was only one problem: that wasn't true, as court documents showed.

So the NCAA's strategy was to say there is "no evidence" that athletes' likenesses are transferred to broadcasters, citing television contracts. But then those same contracts said the opposite of what was claimed. Heck, the Big 12 contract didn't even say anything about facilities. It's no wonder the NCAA worked so hard to keep the contracts sealed.

The NCAA argued that those rights are for promotional use, not the actual broadcasts, and that players sign over their promotional rights on a waiver. They also contend the broadcast rights issue is irrelevant, because athletes don't have those rights.

The NCAA will bring in witnesses to counter this testimony. Specifically, former CBS executive Neal Pilson will probably tout the "we broadcast stadiums, not players" line.

Still, given what's written in the contracts, it's going to be very, very hard for the NCAA to prove athletes generate none of its revenue and aren't entitled to any of the industry's billions of dollars in TV money.

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