FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez is reporting that plans for the 2011 NFL game held in London are ongoing, but could be derailed by a potential lockout - even if the lockout ends before the season starts. Chris Parsons, the league's vice president of international business, told Marvez that the NFL is planning their annual matchup at Wembley Stadium, but that the chances of playing that contest will gradually diminish if the current CBA is allowed to expire March 4 and a work stoppage ensues.
"We are going through the preparation right now," Parsons said. "We are working with the (NFL) scheduler to make sure if we do get the CBA done by a certain time that we will actually be able to execute that game. Normally we announce the game at this time of year, but we've chosen not to do that because of the uncertainty."
Parsons specifically mentioned that the Bills Toronto Series is continuing as scheduled, and does not have the same level of uncertainty as the London game. One would presume he means it won't be affected any more than the rest of the regular season games should a lockout take place.
What is still unclear is whether Rogers Communications would still compensate the Buffalo Bills in the event that the 2011 season is canceled. The owners are ensured television deal money in the event of a lockout in their contract with the networks. It's unlikely that the same is true of the BTS deal, given that the point of the series is to bring football to Toronto.
If the season is shortened and not canceled - for instance, from 16 games to 9 as in 1982, or 16 to 12 as in 1987 - Toronto would likely still be guaranteed one of the Bills' 2011 home games in the deal.