As Super Bowl Nears, NFL Outlook Cloudy

The NFL collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on March 4, and as both sides remain entrenched, a lockout now seems all but inevitable. In a worst-case scenario, the entire 2011-12 campaign would be scuttled, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue and sending media buyers scrambling for replacements. Indeed, the NFL plays such a critical role in the TV market that even the loss of a handful of games could be catastrophic to the spring upfront.