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CBS faces countersuit from NFL PLAYERS over statistics useage

9/10/2008 - NFL

MINNEAPOLIS -- The for-profit marketing arm of the NFL Players Association has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami against CBS Interactive over the use of player statistics in fantasy football games.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, comes the week after CBS Interactive sued the NFL Players Association in federal court in Minneapolis. That suit seeks to clarify who controls the statistics that underlie its fantasy football games.

NFL PLAYERS, which handles all licensing and sponsorships for the players, contends CBS Interactive filed the lawsuit in the wrong jurisdiction. It also argues that the filing in Minneapolis names the wrong defendant -- the NFL Players Association rather than NFL PLAYERS.

While the federal courts in Minneapolis have been a frequent venue for cases involving the NFL Players Association, NFL PLAYERS argues the case has no connection to Minnesota and should not be heard there.

In a statement released Wednesday, NFL PLAYERS acting chairman Richard Berthelsen says it's wrong for companies to use the rights of NFL players to generate revenues without compensating the players.

Alex Riethmiller, a spokesman for CBSSports.com, said CBS does not comment on pending litigation.

But in its lawsuit, CBS seeks a court ruling saying that "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."

In fantasy sports, players draft teams of real-life players and compete against other owners using those players' statistics during the season.