Professional sports governance in the United States is based on a closed, but united, system of independently owned franchises that operates as cooperative venture which displays the characteristics of an economic cartel. Created in the early and middle years of the last century, these sports leagues control the operations of their respective sports and create an organizational decision-making structure, providing governance on issues as varied as player and owner discipline, revenue control, dissemination of marketing and media revenues and expansion and relocation of league franchises. A general knowledge of the structure and power of professional sports organizations is imperative for anyone interested in working in or writing about the professional sports industry in the United States and Canada.