I realize you can't comment as to exactly what's been said or not said, so I'll throw out my opinion on the matter-- I'm amazed that some of these companies are so hesitant to monetize code that hasn't been worth a dime for 20 years. Sure, there's a few Mario and Zelda games that can still sell for a good buck today, but how realistic is it to try and re-sell a sports game from the 90s? If they have the chance, they'd be stupid not to take it.
Most Pro sports organizations will not license character rosters for previous years in any circumstances, and have updated rules for licensees with regard to game rules and mechanics. NFL Blitz got dumbed down in subsequent releases for being to violent, ie no penalties and obscene rough hits, despite the original being IMO the funnest football game ever made. Also big licensing fees too.
Though in some circumstances, player names can be stripped out. I think it is telling that Tecmo Bowl got released on NES Mini, with only player numbers and city names for the teams. Techmo Super Bowl got an NFL license bitd, so NFL, the "Super" in Super Bowl, team logos, team names, and player names would all have to be removed. NBA Jam got reissued for Wii so sometimes good things happen.
As for other games, for instance Capcom's Disney games and Konami's Turtles et al, exclusive license deals with other developers exclude retro releases, and all parties involved must renegotiate. When Nikelodean made the new Turtles reboots, I forget who they gave the exclusive license to for video game rights, but all the classic Konami ports got taken down from PSN, XBLA, and eShop VC overnight.
It really is a legal quagmire licensing old retro games unless the current rights holder for the game code, hardware, and any third party IP contained within the game can cooperate. If Retrobit Generations proved anything, it's that previously licensed 3rd party Nintendo games can be relicensed to other third parties without Nintendo's involvement. If anything, only the title screen needs tweaking with most titles, which Nintendo did for many VC releases. Look at the RARE collection for 360, which included HD remasters of many N64 games.