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NFL Season Cancellation May Cost Electronic Arts $80 Million

Electronic Arts at E3
Attendees visit the Electronic Arts Inc. booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Electronic Arts Inc. previewed "Need for Speed: The Run," a racing game similar to Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s "Grand Theft Auto" series. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Electronic Arts Inc. said gross revenue may fall by $70 million to $80 million if the National Football League lockout of its players leads to a canceled season.

The company is working closely with the league and the NFL Players Association to minimize the potential impact of a lockout-shortened season on sales of NFL-related games, Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, told Bloomberg Television yesterday.

Electronic Arts sells “Madden NFL,” which is updated each year with team and player performance data ahead of the new professional football season. Moore’s estimate was lower than the potential loss of as much as $165 million reported yesterday by the New York Post, which cited analyst estimates.

“You do get concerned that the attention of sports fans goes elsewhere,” Moore said. “People not only get disenchanted, they get angry.”

Moore estimated the lockout’s impact could be as much as 35 percent. Analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Morgan Securities put the potential drop as high as 50 percent of “Madden NFL” sales.

Electronic Arts fell 63 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $22.72 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 39 percent this year.

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